|Rising star: Young cai luong actor Vo Minh Lam of Can Tho City has been nominated for the 2014 Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Award by HCM City Television. — Photo courtesy of Dong Tay Promotion
HCM CITY (VNS) — Traditional artists Hanh Nguyen, Vo Hoai Phuong and Vo Minh Lam in HCM City have been nominated for the 2014 Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Award by the Nguoi Lao Dong (Labourer) newspaper.
The annual Mai Vang Award, begun in 1995, aims to honour the best artists of the year in theatre, music, movie and TV shows. Audiences will vote by mail or internet on their favourite artists.
Appearing in the nomination list, singers Nguyen and Phuong were moved to tears after being recognised by fans. Both singers chose to perform folk and revolutionary music.
Nguyen began her career in 1998 after winning fourth prize at HCM City Television Singing Contest.
She performs contemporary folk by famous composers Vu Duc Sao Bien and Thanh Son.
Her favourite songs include Bien's Chi Va Em (The Sisters) and Son's Ao Moi Ca Mau (Young Girl in Ca Mau Province).
"I love singing folk music. I have to improve my voice and performance skills to a higher level," said Nguyen, a graduate from the city's University of Economy.
She has also travelled to remote areas for singing.
"I performed for soldiers who are stationed in Truong Sa (Spratly Islands) several times. Through my music, I wanted to bring the love and respect from people in the land to the soldiers," said the 35-year-old singer.
Nguyen's colleague, Phuong of the Bong Sen Traditional Dance and Music Troupe, has issued her latest album, Tieng Bien (The Voice of the Sea), featuring 12 songs in praise of navy soldiers. It sold out after two weeks of the release.
Her songs have attracted several thousand fans on online music forums.
"I believe revolutionary music is always alive among young audiences. My duty is to promote the music more," said Phuong, one of the youngest members of the HCM City Music's Association.
Meanwhile, Lam, a cai luong (reformed opera) actor, was nominated for the award for his contribution to traditional theatre.
Born in a traditional family in Can Tho City, Lam began singing cai luong when he was a child. He won top prizes at singing contests organised by local organisations when he was at school.
In 2006, Lam won the national cai luong singing contest titled Chuong Vang (Golden Bell) organised by HCM City Television. Later, he was invited to work for the region's leading troupe Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong Theatre.
He played leading roles in 10 dramas broadcast on TV stations in the region.
His plays included Mua Xuan Bat Tan (Forever Spring) and Trang Hoa Mai (White Apricot Flower), both featuring historical events.
"Cai luong is the spirit of southern people. Take me off the stage, I would be nothing," the 25-year-old Lam said.
"The Mai Vang Award is one of the country's most prestigious prizes in the entertainment industry," he added.
The Mai Vang Award ceremony is expected to be held in HCM City later this month.
Last year, more than 80,000 people in HCM City and other provinces voted for their favourite artists. — VNS