Artist Minh Mẫn at a ca Huế performance in the biennial cultural event, the Huế Festival. — VNS Photo Nguyễn Thượng Hiển
Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Minh Mẫn, a prominent artist of ca Huế singing, passed away at her home in Huế City on Tuesday evening, aged 93.
Nguyễn Văn Lợi, a loyal fan of this style of traditional music, was saddened that audiences will no longer have the chance to listen to the best vocalist of the singing form.
Poet Võ Quê, who chairs a club for ca Huế in the city, said Mẫn’s passing was a loss to the art form.
Mẫn, whose real name is Nguyễn Thị Mẫn, was born in an outlying village in Phong Điền District before she became a vendor as a teenager. When she was 15, Mẫn got the chance to sing ca Huế thanks to her sense of rhythm and excellent vocals.
She rose to fame two years later as one of the best vocalists of the singing style. Working with the art form for 70 years, Mẫn performed as well as conducted training and made adjustments for studies and documentaries on ca Huế.
The singing community considered Mẫn a “live treasure”.
She was awarded the title of outstanding artist by the State President in 2016.
Ca Huế is a variation of Huế royal court music and is considered a type of chamber music that originated from performances in the royal and mandarin houses during the imperial era. The lyrics are sometimes similar to Huế folk songs.
The art form is said to bear similar significance to Vietnamese traditional music such as đờn ca tài tử (Southern folk music) and ca trù (ceremonial singing performed in the north). The music performances are done on traditional Vietnamese musical instruments, when the musicians and vocalists all wear the national dress, áo dài. — VNS