Mangaluru: Hiriyadka Gopala Rao who is famed as the Maddale Mantrika, or Maddale Maestro passed away on Saturday, October 17 night at his residence. He was 101.
The Maddale Maestro died due to age-related ailments, informed family sources
Rao was befittingly conferred the Kannada Rajyotsava Award of the state government for his incredible achievements to the field of art.
Born on December 15, 1919 to Sheshagiri Rao and Lakshmibai couple of Hiriadka, for Gopala Rao his father himself was his first Guru. Sheshagiri Rao was an Ayurvedic doctor and a Yakshagana artiste too.
As a lad he was more interested in Yakshagana and learnt the intricacies of the art from Hiriadka Pattanashetty Nagappa Kamath. That he learnt Yakshagana secretly without the knowledge of his father, revealed the extent to which he loved the art.
He even learnt Maddale under the tutelage of Perdoor Venkata Rao. Later he performed some small roles in Hiriyadka Mela. Rao’s association with Srinivas Uppoor, the father of renowned Bhagavatha Narayana Uppoor, also helped him in mastering Bhagavathike.
Gopala Rao who had learnt about traditional medicines from his father even used to treat patients suffering stroke and epilepsy. He had to later stop practice due to tougher norms in the form of various regulations.
Rao has been honoured with several awards and accolades throughout his career.