About Me

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I am a singer-researcher with expertise in Karnatik Music and Early Opera. I discuss intercultural music-making contexts. My work is available at www.charulathamani.com and at www.youtube.com/isaipayanam

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Passing of a Legend

The passing away of Carlo Bergonzi recently, marks the end of an era in Opera. One of the foremost Verdian tenors of the 20th century, Bergonzi will always be remembered and admired for his velvety timbre, impeccable taste, unsurpassed lyricism. Bergonzi's musicianship was exemplary, a master of technique and taste. Listening to Bergonzi sing, is like attending a masterclass in voice production, breath control, legato, colouring, one could go on and on...

While Bergonzi's interpretation of lyrical roles was the gold standard for many, including Edgardo (Lucia), Riccardo (Un Ballo), both Rodolfos (Boheme and Luisa Miller), Alfredo (Traviata), Pinkerton (Butterfly) and others, he still had the heft for successfully essaying heavier roles like Radames (Aida), Manrico (Trovatore).

Bergonzi was an exponent of the old-school "stand-and-deliver" style, with minimal emphasis on acting, preferring to act through his voice, with finely chiseled detail in his interpretations. We attended a performance of L'Elisir d'Amore at Munich this summer, where the very fit tenor actually climbed a lampost on set and delivered "Una furtiva lagrima" perched at the top! Bergonzi's performances were in contrast low on stage antics and maximal in musicality.

His career, spanning half a century, is a shining example to all singers, his last major public performance being at the age of 75! 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Sri Varalakshmi - Kriti for Varalakshmi Vratha

Sri Varalaksmi is a brilliant Kriti of Dikshitar that describes the importance of Varalakshmi Puja that happens on the Full moon day of Shraavan month, on. Friday to usher in the grace of the goddess of fortune Varalakshmi.
I have rendered the piece in Sri raga with a video.
Do listen, watch, enjoy and share the joy.

- love, Charulatha Mani

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Oslo - Geiranger Trip

Had an awesome vacation at Oslo and Geiranger in Norway with my husband. Thanks to my Norwegian friends Nalayani and Mohan for making our trip most enjoyable!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Kannukkul Pothivaippen Official Full Video Song

My latest movie song, based on ragas Mukhari and Hamirkalyani

Movie: Thirumanam Enum Nikkah
Starcast: Jai, Nazriya Nazim
Director: Anis
Composer: Ghibran
Singer: Charulatha Mani, Vijay Prakash, Sadhana Sargam, , Dr.R.Ganesh
Lyricist: Parvathy
Producer: Aascar Ravichandran
Banner: Aascar Films Pvt Ltd
Label: Think Music

Raga Mukhari in Carnatic and Film Music:

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Raga's Journey - New Videos in English

Continuing where "Isai Payanam" left off, a new series of videos in English are coming out on my YouTube channel:
A Raga's Journey -  Raga Mukhari in Carnatic Music:

Related blog on Raga Mukhari:

Upcoming videos:
  • Raga Mukhari in Film Music
  • Raga Hamsanandi
  • Raga Kambhoji
  • Raga Tilang
Bookmark the playlist:

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Learn Ragas with Charulatha Mani - Raga Mohanam

Learn Ragas with Charulatha Mani by SuperAudio
Learn Ragas is a musical insight into certain important and typical ragas of Carnatic Music. Classical Musician Charulatha Mani, popular Carnatic Vocalist, is acknowledged world over as an expert on Ragas. In this video in her own lively and melodious style she outlines the salient features of the raga with the right grammar to put learners on the right track, shares with us well-known compositions in the raga as well as presents a piece in full to bring out the complete joy in this effort. Students and music lovers will love this offering for its simplicity, and user-friendly presentation. This video is completely in lucid English which makes it appealing to a wide spectrum of music lovers.

DVD available at:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Soothing the Senses - Raga Nilambari

Raga Nilambari in Carnatic Music:

Raga Nilambari in Film Music:

Previously covered Ragas:
A Rare Treat - Raga Saramati
Morning Ragas - Ramapriya and Rishabhapriya
Pious Notes - Ragas Nasikabhushani and Vagadeeshwari
Priya Principle - Ragas Rasikapriya and Ratipatipriya
Versatile Nattai
Positively Tranquil - Raga Harikambhoji
Catchy and Classical - Raga Sankarabharanam
Of Love and Longing - Chandrakauns and Surya
Godly Gowrimanohari
Kedaragowla’s Many Moods
The Royal Durbar
Joy of Hamirkalyani
Power of Three - Ragas Madhyamavati, Brindavanasaranga, Brindavani
Wake up to Valaji
Distinctly Classical - Ragas Gowla and Lalitha
Auspicious Sri
A Complex Beauty - Raga Dwijavanti
Tale of Two Varalis - Ragas Punnagavarali and Kuntalavarali
Morning ragas - Bilahari and Malayamarutham
Endearing Khamas
Light and Melodious - Raga Sindhubhairavi
Harmonious Symmetry - Raga Kiravani

Thozhi Magazine - March 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bhairavi Swarajati - Amba Kamakshi

Creating this recording and the video was a spiritual experience for me. Raga Bhairavi has magical powers and envelopes the soul. This kriti "Amba Kamakshi" was composed on the goddess at Kanchi "Kamakshi" by the great Shyama Sastri. This kriti is a call of the child's soul to the divine mother "Amba". Each and every person can relate to this call to the divine, this I truly believe. I dedicate this video and kriti to Kanchi Kamakshi Ambal, Sri Mahaperiyava and Shyama Sastri. I also recall with fond love my guru Late Smt Savitri Saytamurthy who painstakingly taught me this piece "Amba Kamakshi" and many other precious gems in music. 

More on Raga Bhairavi:

Raga Bhairavi - SoundCloud Playlist:

A Raga's Journey - Bewitching Bhairavi:

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Rare Treat - Raga Saramati

Raga Saramati in Classical Music:
Raga Saramati in Film Music:

Isai Payanam on Jaya TV