January, 11 2014 09:47:58

Modern opera tells classic love story

Pop opera: Artist Duy Tan plays the hunchback Quasimodo in Vu Huy Tien's contemporary opera Notre Dame de Paris. — VNS File Photo

HCM CITY (VNS)— Veteran musician Vu Huy Tien has spent 30 years writing Vietnamese lyrics and the music score for the contemporary opera Notre Dame de Paris, based on the French author Victor Hugo's classic novel.

The work will be staged at the HCM City Conservatory of Music, next week.

"The play's music is a mixture of jazz, blues and Vietnamese pop in order to reach the Vietnamese audiences, while its lyrics honour love," Tien said.

Tien, who began to compose songs, musicals and operas at the age of 17, has worked at art troupes like the National Dance School, the Ha Noi Art Troupe, and Tuoi Tre (Youth Theatre). He received the prize from the Viet Nam Composer's Association in 1999 for his contribution to Vietnamese music.

Notre Dame de Paris tells the story of the hunchback of Notre Dame's (Quasimodo) unrequited love to the gypsy girl Esmeralda.

It depicts the star-crossed romance between the two main characters and Frollo, the archdeacon of Notre Dame, and Phoebus, the captain of the Royal Archers.

The story is told by a poet, played by Tien.

Respected artist Duy Tan, lecturer at the conservatory, will play the hunchback. Young singers Phuong Trinh and Thanh Huyen will be Esmeralda.

Both young and veteran singers and musicians from the conservatory will be performing.

The 90-minute opera is directed by Le Quan and Phan Dien who have spent the past few months with the actors and musicians rehearsing.

Money problems

Dien says the full opera is more than two and a half hours long – too long to dramatise all of it. But we can try and bring part of it to the stage.

However, "We can't do much without money," he added.

There will not be huge stage, just a few props, costumes and lights to support the performance.

Speaking frankly Tien said he and his partner, singer Thanh Hieu, have little experience in business and sponsorship, their priority and passion is the music.

"I thought my work would never be staged," he added.

Fortunately, Tien received the support from the Viet Nam Composers' Association and the conservatory. All the artists agreed to take part despite not being paid.

"I'm grateful to my colleagues and the artists who have made my dream come true," Tien said.

The opera will begin at 8pm on January 13 and 14 at 112 Nguyen Du Street in District 1.

Tickets are available at the venue. — VNS

Send Us Your Comments:
Your E-mail address:

VietNamNews may edit your comments and not all emails will be published.


Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh

Wiping sweat from his forehead, 36-year-old Trinh Duc Sang took big strides along a road covered with muddy coal sludge and dirt to the place that was his home until just three weeks ago. He climbed a rickety ladder that buckled under his weight to reach his neigh-bour's house overlooking a creek. From there, he crossed into his old home.

Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi

For more than 20 years, Dang Thi Nhan, 67, has been waking up about 30 minutes earlier each day to bake cakes or prepare tea for two retired doctors in a clinic near her house in Ha Noi's Giap Bat Ward.

Wounds begin to heal between US, Viet Nam 1    Wounds begin to heal between US, Viet Nam

Pham Ba Lu swore thousands of times that he "would not live under the same sky as the United States".

Water resources, eroding land need saving Water resources, eroding land need saving

Water management has become a major topic of discussion in recent years among Viet Nam's lawmakers, experts and society. The country has been struggling to deal with water-related issues such as a rising sea level, land subsidence and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta. Lawmakers and experts shared their views on water management with Viet Nam News reporters Thu Van and Hoang Anh.