HCM CITY — Nine artists from HCM City and provinces of the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta have won gold medals at the Tran Huu Trang Awards, an annual cai luong (reformed opera) competition. They were chosen from a field of 17 finalists.
HCM City promising talent, Hoai Thanh, Le Thanh Thao, Vo Minh Lam and Phuong Tran, who work for the city's Tran Huu Trang Theatre - one of the region's leading cai luong troupes, captured the hearts of the jury and audiences in the finals of the contest last weekend at the Television Theatre.
Five artistes from cai luong troupes in the provinces of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Tien Giang and Can Tho City also won gold prizes awarded by the HCM City Theatre Association.
"Following in the footsteps of veteran artists who lived and worked for the art of cai luong, we are trying to provide some new offerings for theatre lovers, particularly younger audiences," said Nguyen Ngoc Doi of Bac Lieu Province's Cao Van Lau Cai Luong Troupe, one of the five rural artists to receive a gold prize.
Thirty-year-old Doi began her career when she was 17 and has worked hard to meet the challenge of luring audiences back to cai luong.
"I always work very hard, improving both skills and creativity and I strongly believe in the power of cai luong, so young artists should try to use their ability to revive cai luong," she said.
Doi performed well in an excerpt from the cai luong play La Sau Rieng (Durian Leaf), which has made many artists popular and famous.
"I tried my best to make an impression on the judges and audiences, combining traditional and modern performance styles," she said.
Doi's closest competitor, Phuong Anh of Can Tho City's Tay Do Cai Luong Theatre, said:"I don't want to live in the shadow of great cai luong stars like Bach Tuyet. So I have worked hard to demonstrate my own personal style on stage."
"With the Tran Huu Trang Prize, we want to commemorate and promote cai luong, a traditional southern Vietnamese form of theatre which originated in the Mekong River Delta after the World War I," said veteran artist Bach Tuyet, head of the jury.
"Cai luong theatre needs talented artists like the contest's winners," she added.
The Tran Huu Trang contest, held over two months, attracted hundreds of young artists from amateur and professional troupes. — VNS