Cải lương star performs in new historical play

October, 05/2022 - 10:10
Meritorious Artist and cải lương (reformed opera) star Thoại Mỹ performs in a new play on Vietnamese history staged by the private Đại Việt Cải Lương Stage of HCM City.
SOUTHERN CULTURE: Cải Lương star Thoại Mỹ plays a lead role in Đêm Trước Ngày Hoàng Đạo (The Night Before Dawn), winner of the Silver Medal for Best Cải Lương Play at the Capital City Theatre Festival 2022 in Hà Nội on October 3. — Photo courtesy of Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre.

HCM CITY — Meritorious Artist and cải lương (reformed opera) star Thoại Mỹ performs in a new play on Vietnamese history staged by the private Đại Việt Cải Lương Stage of HCM City.

Mỹ plays a lead role in Đêm Trước Ngày Hoàng Đạo (The Night Before Dawn), winner of the Silver Medal for Best Cải Lương Play at the Capital City Theatre Festival 2022 recently.

Mỹ won the Golden Medal for Best Actress.

The play is a production of talented director Hoa Hạ.

It features the unjust death of national hero Nguyễn Trãi, one of Việt Nam’s greatest politicians and poets.

It portrays the circumstances of Trãi’s death, which resulted from a secret involving the death of King Lê Thái Tông in early 1442.

Twenty years after Trãi’s death, King Lê Thánh Tông, the fourth son of King Lê Thái Tông, declared that the great scholar was innocent in the death of his father.

In the play, Mỹ appears with younger colleagues such as Võ Minh Lâm and Phương Cẩm Ngọc, graduates from art schools in HCM City and southern provinces.

“I’m always trying my best to bring the original tunes of cải lương, a traditional form of southern theatre that began about 100 years ago, to young audiences,” said the 53-year-old Mỹ. “My art targets youth. I want to encourage youngsters to learn more about Vietnamese history and culture through theatre.”

ENTERTAINING THE NORTH: Cải lương artists of the private Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre stand with audiences at the Capital City Theatre Festival 2022 in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of Đại Việt Cải Lương Theatre.

Mỹ began her professional career in 1982 after graduating from a three-year training course launched by Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre in HCM City, one of the region’s leading traditional theatres.

With her strong, sweet voice and rapid improvement in performance skills, she soon became a bright star in cải lương.

In 1990, Mỹ won her first prize, a Silver Medal at the National Theatre Festival in Hà Nội.

She has earned 16 Best Theatre Actress awards presented by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, HCM City Theatre’s Association, and leading organisations and newspapers.

She has performed in several hundred cải lương plays, music videos and TV shows.

She has 18 solo albums featuring vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) songs, which are often used in cải lương plays.

Mỹ has also travelled to offer cải lương for many farmers living in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta region.

“Performing in Hạ’s Đêm Trước Ngày Hoàng Đạo is a chance for me to learn more from younger artists, who are dynamic and have devoted all their energy to the stage,” said Mỹ.

Mỹ and her colleagues left a very strong impression on audiences in Hà Nội. Their show attracted nearly 300 people at the Đại Nam Theatre on September 28.

“Mỹ’s performance is very unique. Her art helps theatregoers learn more about southern culture and lifestyle,” said theatre actress Thu Trang from the Voice of Việt Nam.

The play, Đêm Trước Ngày Hoàng Đạo, is scheduled to stage in HCM City’s Trần Hưng Đạo Theatre, District 1, on October 29. — VNS

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