August 7, 1945|
|Died||April 3, 2003(aged 57)|
|Other names||Ellamulla Kapuge Gunadasa|
|Education||Karandeniya Central College, Dharmasoka College, Eramulla Kanishta Vidyalaya, Karandeniya Central College,Galle Nagoda College, Heywood, Government College, Bhatkhande Music Institute University, Lucknow|
|Occupation||singer, composer, musician|
|Children||Mithra Kapuge,Ridhma Kapuge, Sajani Kapuge|
Gunadasa Kapuge (Sinhala:ගුණදාස කපුගේ, August 7, 1945 – April 3, 2003) was a legendary Sri Lankan musician. He was well known among Sri Lankans due to the philosophical background of his music renditions and lyrics selected for his work. Kapuge's one man show called "Kampana" was a historical advent of the Sinhala music industry.
Kapuge was born on August 7, 1945 either in the village of Miriswatte in the Galle district or in the tiny village of Thanabaddegama in Elpitiya. Being the second of eight siblings, he attended Karandeniya Central College up to grade five and the latter part at Dharmasoka College in Ambalangoda, where he initially studied science before switching to music. In 1963, he left Haywood college of music, where he was studying at that time, to follow a degree course in India. In late 1960, Kapuge joined the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation and in 1969, he worked as an operational assistant and in 1975 started out as a programme producer. In 1981, he was appointed in charge of the music section of the Rajarata Sevaya and later on promoted to the position of the controller of the station. Rajarata Sevaya is one of the provincial radio stations of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation. He later married Prema Withanage in 1978.
Kapuge's initial release was titled "Daesa Nilupul Thema" in 1973, which became an instant hit. After which, Kapuge was quoted as a 'Grade A' vocalist by the Radio Ceylon. Thus the three decade long music career of Visharada Kapuge began. The first stage drama for which he provided background music was "Thuranga Sanniya" by Sugathapala De Silva. Since then he provided background music for the highly popular musical "Tharawo Igilethi" by Lucien Bulathsinhala and several other. His first movie background music gig was for the Stanley Perera's "Sandha." In 1980, Kapuge released his first music compact cassette titled "Dhampatin Laa Sandha" featuring Malini Bulathsinhala.
- 1980 - Dampatin La Sanda Basa Yanawa
- 1981 - Seethala Sanda Eliye
- 1983 - Unmada Sithuwam
- 1983 - Mawathe Geethaya
- 1990 - Kampana
- 1990 - Piya Satahan
- 1995 - Mirivedi Sangalalak
- 1998 - Sunflower (1,2,3)
- 1999 - Irabatu Taruwa
- 2000 - Sanda Ree Sihine
- 2000 - Nesena Gee Rasa(1,2)
- Thuranga Sanniya
- Nandi Visala
- Tharavo Igilethi
- Sira Kandawuru
- Sath saha Satha
- Sasara Sevanel
- Gigiri Walalu
- Sira Kandawuru
- Sasara Sevaneli
- Rail Peeli Sanda Maddahana
- Rathu Makara
- Maala Giravi
- Puthuni Mata Samawanna
- Bawa Duka
- Bawa Karma
Kapuge staged a one-man musical show titled "Kampana" during the 1990s and also released a cassette and CD with the same title.
On returning from a tour of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Visharada Kapuge had a fall at the Bandaranaike International Airport whilst disembarking a shuttle bus. He sustained injuries on the back of his head. He was taken to the medical center at the airport at around 4.30 AM where he was given saline. After initial treatment, he was to be taken to the Colombo National Hospital. However, there was no male nurse available to assist. Visharada Gunadasa Kaupuge later died at Colombo National Hospital.
His son Mitra Kapuge continues to sing his father's songs.
- Swarna Sanka Award - Best Vocalist
- Vishwa Prasadini Award
- Sarasavi Awards - Best Vocalist
- Rasa Sangeetha Award - Most Popular Singer
- Presidential Award - Best Playback Singer
- Sarasavi Award - Best Vocalist
- OCIC Award - Creative Music Direction - "Bawa Duka"
- Presidential Award - Best Vocalist
- Sarasavi Awards - Prasada Pooja Award