Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — The annual love duet singing festival will be organised on February 27 and 28 in Lim Town, Nội Duệ and Liên Bão Commune, Tiên Du District in the northern province of Bắc Ninh.
The two-day festival is expected to gather dozens of local amateur and professional love duet (quan họ) singers and thousands of tourists.
The artists will perform on six stages on Lim Mountain, floating boats in nearby lake and at veteran singers’ houses.
The singing will be in a cappella style (singing without musical instruments), which was the local style of love duets, Nguyễn Mạnh Hùng, deputy head of the festival’s organising board, said.
Folk games such as traditional swinging, wrestling, hide and seek and card games will be organised.
The singers are allowed to sing only quan họ, not other traditional vocal arts like chèo (traditional opera) and chầu văn (ceremonial singing) or modern pop music, he said.
The organisers also ban computer games, circus, flying motor and other games that use loudspeakers and would affect the festival’s atmosphere.
“This year, we will tighten management for the event,” Hùng said. “If any individuals or clubs violate regulations, the locality will not permit them to perform at the event next year or at any other event hosted by the locality.”
The art of love duets was inscribed in the UNESCO’s representative list of intangible cultural heritage in September 2009.
Quan họ is an art form that combines various elements, including music, lyrics and costumes, and features the distinctive culture of people in the region formerly called Kinh Bắc.
The singing represents different kinds of relationships -- the relationship between male and female singers as romantic lovers, the relationship between two friendly villages and the relationship between performers and the audience. Each element helps define quan họ, give it life and meaning, and the resulting harmony is so much more than just a beautiful song. — VNS