Amar Muchhala grew up in a conservative Gujarati household in Mumbai. This meant having to deal with many restrictions, and being careful with saying and doing the right thing. This brought in him many inhibitions, which, he believes, led to him stammering.
Fighting a stammer was easier said than done, as Amar grew up being ridiculed in school. However, he fought all odds and today is a successful opera singer.
Amar loved singing as a child and one of the reasons for this was because he didn't stammer while singing. Also, he says singing gave him a sense of liberation. All through school, the shy and silent boy would hardly open his mouth, except to sing. According to The Hindustan Times, he said,
“I wouldn’t mingle with the kids. I was super scared of public speaking, and would dread the first day of class every year when you had to stand up and introduce yourself. At that point, I couldn’t even say my name without getting stuck. And kids those days were brutal.”
Being obese only added to the bullying.
However, this changed when he went to the US to pursue his graduate studies in Business Management and French Literature. He says he felt feel comfortable without having to try very hard, and this helped him get rid of his stammer.
Fascinated with music, Amar joined the college choir where he stood out for the tenor of his voice. Eventually, he went on to study music from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, which was a disappointment for the family as they expected him to take care of the family business.
It wasn't an easy decision for Amar to take as he did not even know what tenor meant before his choirmaster recognised his talent. Talking about his decision to The Hindu, he said,
“I was fascinated by the sheer power of their (the masters') voice and their ability to produce it. It was never a conscious decision to pursue opera, but teachers encouraged me as my voice sits rather high.”
Amar's stammer has reduced over the years, as he goes around the world singing opera.
Amar is the first Indian to perform in the history of chamber opera, and has also mastered 'Komm, O Holde Dame', considered one of the most difficult tenor arias.
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