Viet Nam News
BẠC LIÊU— The Tài Tử Music Festival 2016 will open today in Bạc Liêu as part of the Mekong Delta city’s cultural activities to celebrate National Tourism 2016 with the theme “Discovering the Southern Land”.
During the three-day event, artists from dozens of art troupes in the region will perform hundreds of songs and instrumental music pieces.
Musicians will play traditional instruments, including a two-stringed guitar called đàn kìm, to accompany the singers.
During the opening ceremony, artists from the Cao Văn Lầu Cải Lương Theatre will perform the popular song Dạ Cổ Hoài Lang (Night Drumbeats for an Absent Husband), written in 1919 by well-known composer Cao Văn Lầu, a native of the Mekong Delta province of Bạc Liêu.
The song tells of the love, anguish and pride of a young woman watching her husband fight for the country.
The festival also includes talks on the tài tử music genre by researchers.
Cao Xuân Thu Vân, director of Bạc Liêu Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said the festival would give people, particularly youth, the opportunity to understand and preserve the region’s traditional music.
“We hope to encourage young and veteran artists and fans of tài tử music to expand the art,” she said.
Tài tử music is considered the prototype for vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) and cải lương (reformed opera) of southern Việt Nam.
It is a part of the region’s traditional music that began 100 years ago. The music is associated with farmers who sing while working in the fields or relaxing at the end of a hard day.
The songs are performed at traditional festivals, weddings and death anniversary events in the region.
In 2013, the music was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The festival will open at 8pm today at the Bạc Liêu Cultural House. — VNS