Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A play featuring 50 artists of two leading theatres in Hà Nội and HCM City will be staged later this month to celebrate 100 years of cải lương (reformed opera).
The 150-minute show, Thầy Ba Đợi (Teacher Ba Đợi), portrays the career of famous musician Nguyễn Quang Đại, a guru of cải lương who helped develop tài tử music, a genre of traditional music, and cải lương in the South.
The play, which stars talented artists of the Việt Nam Cải Lương Theatre of Hà Nội and Trần Hữu Trang Theatre of HCM City, will combine both traditional and modern performance styles.
The producers at both theatres have spent a lot for the production, including costumes, sound and light effects, according to Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Trung Kiên, deputy director of Việt Nam Cải Lương Theatre, one of the play’s four directors.
"We want to satisfy audiences who want to enjoy cải lương with something new," said Kiên in a recent interview with HCM City-based Tuổi Trẻ (Youth) newspaper.
"We promise a great spectacle of music and images."
Thầy Ba Đợi focuses on the career of musician Đại in 1885, when he moved from his birthplace, Huế City, to Sài Gòn (HCM City now) to teach tài tử music.
The play highlights the contributions of Đại in promoting Huế royal music and cải lương.
Four veteran artists, Thanh Tuấn, Lê Tứ, Quang Khải and Xuân Vinh, director of Việt Nam Cải Lương Theatre, were invited to play the role of Đại.
The work also attracts cải lương stars Quế Trân and Võ Minh Luân of Trần Hữu Trang Theatre.
"Cải lương will attract younger audiences if it provides a new and modern style," Kiên said.
To impress audiences, Kiên and his staff have decided to use Meritorious Artist Doãn Bằng to participate in stage design and making costumes.
The performers have been practising singing and dance skills for hours each day to provide theatre fans "a great show with strong and melodic voices and appealing and powerful stage presence,” Kiên said.
Thầy Ba Đợi will be staged at 8pm on April 28 and 29 at Bến Thành Theatre, 6 Mạc Đĩnh Chi Street, in District 1. It will air live on Việt Nam Television and Hồ Chí Minh Television.
It will be staged in Long An Province. — VNS