Dharwad: Veteran folk artist and singer Basavalingaiah Hiremath (65), who introduced Sri Krishna Parijata drama to national and international audiences, died in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Due to a liver-related disease, he had been admitted to the Manipal Hospital in Bengaluru for treatment, sources said. He is survived by a large family of relatives, including his wife and son.
Basavalingaiah, originally from Belur in Belagavi district, was got his education in performing arts from the renowned Sri Neelakanteshwara Natyaseva Sangha (NINASAM) and made a name for himself as a singer of the ‘Sugama Sangeeta’ genre of music. He introduced the folk drams such as Doddaata, Chinnaata, and Parijata to modern theatre and took them to the international level. He was instrumental in introducing these fascinating art forms to a new generation.
Basavalingaiah also condensed and adapted Kulagodu Tamanna’s 12-hour long Sri Krishna Parijata into a 3-hour captivating drama, that was performed more than a thousand times.
He was awarded the Karnataka Rajyotsava for his contributions to theatre. His folk singing programs were famous in North Karnataka.