Eupsiquio Eusebio Antonio Ligorio Fernandes, a Goan playwright

Soul Search

BENAULIM, the nursery of tiatr in Salcete, gave birth to Eupsiquio Eusebio Antonio Ligorio Fernandes, on April 9, 1939. With SSCE for education, he took to watch repairing, motor mechanics and subsequently worked as a steward in the Royal Navy.

His ardent love for language, culture and theatre catapulted the young man to popularity as “Ligor”. His became a household name among the multitude of khelltiatr loving Goans everywhere. Popular folk plays like Kirmidor, Fottkiri Axea, Ekach Karonnak Lagon, Hanv Nhoi Tem, Noxibantlem, Judas, Papi, Julius Caesar, Jesmina, Judy Ann, Jezu Mhaka Pav, Jhevn-Khavn Bodmas, Apovnnem, Jesjudas, Bhogsonnem Na, Oromb ani Xevott, Jith ani Nith, Jivit Ek Nattok and Judev dripped from Ligorio’s exuberant nib, in quick succession from 1972 to 1976.

ligorio2Each play bore the stamp of the Banaulikar’s wizardry at turning out crisp dialogues, characterisation and excellent story sense. Ligorio was honoured with The Times of India’s ACME & Space Agents Awards for Hanv Nhoi Tem, Noxibantlem, Julius Caesar and Jesmina. Jesjudas, Ligorio’s masterpiece, fetched him Mayor Murli Deora’s Man of the Year Award in Bombay in 1981.

However, in 1987, the accomplished playwright changed tracks, abandoning the social themes, which had fetched him fame, to spiritual ones. Absorbed in the Almighty’s greatness and munificence, he began exploring His manifestation in every phrase he penned. Thus, from 1990 to 1997, ensued his famed spiritual series: Jivea Devacho Put (Son of Living God), Jezu Sorvonddar (Jesus, the Savior) and Jezu-Vatt, Sot ani Jivit (Jesus-the way, the Truth and the Life).

ligorio1bFrom writing religious plays, Ligorio forayed into the audio recording scene from 1995 to 1999. He became a part of the Divine Services and through hymns began reaching the hearts of thousands of his fans. His popular audio albums are: Jezuk Sonvsarak Dhitam (Proclaiming Jesus to the world), Jezuk Argam (Thanking Jesus), Jezuk Nomoskar Koru-ia (Let’s Worship Jesus), Jezuk Mohima-Sthuthi (Glory and Praise to Jesus) and Jezuk Sorvos Orpitam (Offering Everything to Jesus).

ligorio4Ligorio’s spiritual songs have been duly appreciated by the Catholic church. Though the songs are not yet a part of the liturgical hymnal, they are profoundly religious in nature. Acknowledging his resolute mission to the cause of human and spiritual values and their unflagging furtherance through theatre and song, the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of India and the Indian Chapter of the International Catholic Association for Radio, TV and Cinema, conferred on the talented tiatrist the “CBCI and Unda/OCIC India Award, 2001”.