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A Lata-Mukesh classic and ‘Dr Zhivago’ come together in a Shillong Chamber Choir performance

The Shillong Chamber Choir combines ‘Lara’s Theme’ from ‘Dr Zhivago’ (1965) and ‘Dil Tadap Tadap’ from ‘Madhumati’ (1958).

Trust Padma Shri winner Neil Nongkynrih’s Shillong Chamber Choir to bring together a famous theme from a David Lean epic and a Mukesh-Lata Mangeshkar duet into one seamless and stunning performance.

The choir is at its finest in a 2015 performance that combines Dil Tadap Tadap from Bimal Roy’s Madhumati (1958) with Maurice Jarre’s iconic leitmotif from Lean’s Dr Zhivago (1965), popularly known as Lara’s Theme. The heartfelt song composed by Salil Chowdhury (November 19, 1923 - September 5, 1995) was one of the prolific composer’s many enduring melodies.

The Shillong Chamber Choir, founded in 2001, came into the limelight in 2010 after winning the second season of India’s Got Talent.

The choir performed its rendition of Chowdhury’s classic live at the Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jaipur and was joined by the Vienna Chamber Orchestra.

Singer William Richmond Basaiawmoit starts with a down-tempo version of the song and is joined by Ibarisha Lyongdoh. Backing them up is a group of nine singers. Basaiwamoit and Lyondoh’s vocals complement each other off beautifuly. Nongkynrih, on the piano, keeps a sharp eye on the proceedings. Two-thirds into the performance, the choir breaks into Somewhere, My Love, the 1967 song based on Lara’s Theme, while keeping the harmony intact.

Dil Tadap Tadap / Lara's Theme by Shillong Chamber Choir.

The Shillong Chamber Choir has won numerous awards, performed across the world and collaborated with a range of artists from Zakir Husain to Usha Uthup and the Vienna Chamber Orchestra to the Fitz William Quartet. The choir performed at former Indian President Pratibha Patil’s presidential banquet and for the Obamas during their visit to India in 2010. Their repertoire includes works of western classical music, rock and roll hits, Khasi folk songs and Hindi film songs.

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