The 58-year-old veteran Yakshagana artiste, Sadhu Kothari, died following heart attack while on stage in Shiriyara village near Kota of Udupi district on Tuesday morning.
Sadhu Kothari, who has been in the Yakshagana field for over 40 years, was playing the role of Maaghadha in the Yakshagana “Mahakali Maghadhendra” being staged in Kalbettu of Kaajralli of Shiriyara village. This Yakshangana was being staged by Mandharti Yakshagana Mela troupe in which Mr. Kothari was among artists who played prominent roles.
According to eyewitness accounts, Mr. Kothari had severe chest pain while performing on stage around 3 a.m. The main Bhagavata (lead singer and director) of Yakshangana Sadashiva Amin, manager of the Mela and other artistes quickly removed the costume Mr. Kothari was wearing and shifted him to a private hospital in Brahmavar, where he was declared brought dead.
Mr. Kothari belonged to Badagutittu form of Yakshagana. He was living with his family in Barkur of Brahmavar taluk of Udupi district.