Cải lương play on fatherhood celebrates Lunar New Year

January, 19/2023 - 08:29
A new version of the 1969 cải lương (reformed opera) play on fatherhood will be staged to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year) in HCM City.
CẢI LƯƠNG FOR TẾT: Young actors of HCM City’s Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre troupe perform a new version of the famous play Tuyệt Tình Ca (Love of the Father) on fatherhood during Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. Photo courtesy of the theatre

HCM CITY — A new version of the 1969 cải lương (reformed opera) play on fatherhood will be staged to celebrate Tết (Lunar New Year) in HCM City.

The play, called Tuyệt Tình Ca (Love of the Father), features young artists of Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, a leading traditional art troupe in HCM City.

It tells the story of a father who does many things to protect his children in war.

The original version of Tuyệt Tình Ca is written by Hoa Phượng and was staged in HCM City in 1969. It featured late Meritorious Artist Út Trà Ôn as the farther and talented actresses such as People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết and Hồng Nga. The play was performed several times in the city and southern provinces.

MODERN CẢI LƯƠNG: Young actress Thanh Thảo of the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre works hard to renew her art. Photo courtesy of the theatre

In the new version, the play’s director and People’s Artist Trần Ngọc Giàu uses elements of modern drama to attract young audiences.

He also hired young artists Điền Trung, Thanh Thảo and Ngọc Đợi to play lead roles.

“Young artists are working to present a cải lương play using modern performance techniques. I hope their art will leave a fresh impression on audiences and theatre critics,” said Giàu.

“We have worked to refresh Tuyệt Tình Ca, a famous cải lương play on Vietnamese culture and lifestyle,” said young actress Thanh Thảo, winner of a Golden Medal for Best Actress at the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020.

Thảo began her love for cải lương and gained lessons from her mother, veteran actress Thanh Loan of Minh Tơ Troupe, one of the region’s leading cải lương theatres in the 1950s-60s.

She has worked to create new styles in singing and dancing to lure young people back to cải lương, a 100-year-old traditional theatre of the South.

“My performance in the new version of Tuyệt Tình Ca will introduce cải lương in both old and new styles,” said Thảo.

REACHING THE PEOPLE: Young artists from the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre will travel and offer free shows in the rural districts of HCM City during Tết (Lunar New Year) holiday. Photo courtesy of the theatre

Thảo and her peers from Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s leading traditional art troupes, are also preparing a series of new shows to entertain audiences during Tết, which begins January 22.

They will travel to perform in the rural districts of Cần Giờ, Bình Chánh, Nhà Bè and Củ Chi.

Free shows at an outdoor stage located in cultural houses for rural residents will be offered from January 24 to February 5 at the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, 136Đ Trần Hưng Đạo Street, District 1. Tickets are available at the box office. — VNS

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