|Rising star: Nguyen Thi Luan (left), won this year's Vong Co Golden Bell Contest, which is held annually to seek new talent for the cai luong theatre. — HTV Photo
HCM CITY (VNS) — Born in a poor farming family in An Giang Province, Nguyen Thi Luan faced hard times for years before winning a gold medal at the Vong Co (Nostalgic Tunes) Golden Bell Contest last week.
Beating four other finalists in the annual event organised by HCM City Television, Luan displayed a sweet voice and stage performance that is expected to encourage youth to learn vong co, an art form part of cai luong theatre.
The 24-year-old performer sang extracts from famous dramas, and was chosen for the final round for their epic quality and theme of patriotism.
Luan gave up school when she was 15 years old. To support her poor parents, she worked part-time in a garment factory.
She began singing cai luong (reformed opera) when she moved to find opportunities in HCM City in 2010, but she could not afford her music lessons.
Her teachers at the HCM City College of Culture and Art and Tran Huu Trang Theatre offered to train her after recognising her potential.
"The Vong Co Golden Bell competition first organised in 2006 has supported young talents like Luan so they can revive cai luong," said Le Duy Hanh, chairman of the city's Theatre Association, after the contest. — VNS