Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Five veteran cải lương (reformed opera) artists will bring an ancient tale to life in HCM City this week.
Meritorious Artist Kim Tử Long, Trường Sơn, Thanh Hằng and Minh Tâm will act in Xử Án Phi Giao (Phi Giao in Court), a famous 1990s play, at the Hòa Bình Theatre.
The artists will sing original traditional tunes of cải lương in costumes by fashion designer Lê Long Dũng.
Xử Án Phi Giao features love and hatred.
It tells the tragedic life of Phi Giao, a concubine who died due to her ambition to accede to the royal throne.
Vietnamese-American Ngọc Huyền, a leading star in the 1990s, will play Phi Giao.
She has been brushing up on her singing and dancing skills to play the part, her first leading role in 15 years after she quit acting to join her family in the US.
“I would love to sing cải lương in my homeland,” the 48-year-old said.
Huyền began her career at a very young age in HCM City, performing in the 1980s and 90s for the Thanh Nga and Huỳnh Long troupes and impressing audiences with her voice, looks and performance.
In 1992 she pioneered the singing of pop songs in cải lương plays.
She won dozens of prizes in national traditional theatre festivals and contests, including the Trần Hữu Trang Award and Mai Vàng (Golden Apricot) Award presented by the HCM City Theatre Association and Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.
Long, the show’s producer and art director, said: “We hope our performance, which will feature an orchestra of traditional instrument players, will please our fans, particularly young people.”
He has worked with the play’s scriptwriter, Bạch Mai, to write vọng cổ songs, which are often used in cải lương plays.
The main performers will be supported by Xuân Trúc, Kim Thư and Chi Bảo of the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre.
The show, to be held on December 23 at the Hòa Bình Theatre, 199 3 Tháng 2 Street, District 10, will begin at 8pm. — VNS