Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — A 20-year-old woman from Sóc Trăng Province won the 2018 Chuông Vàng (Golden Bell) Award on Sunday in the annual cải lương (reformed opera) contest organised by HCM City Television.
Lâm Thị Kim Cương captured the hearts of the judges and audiences by singing excerpts from Chuyện Tấm Cám (The Tale of Tấm and Cám), a traditional play based on a popular Vietnamese fairy tale, in the final round at the HCM City Television Theatre.
She also performed Tiếng Nguyệt Cầm (Voice of Moon-Shaped Guitar), a famous vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) song, a genre of southern traditional music written by veteran composer Huỳnh Thanh Tuấn.
She competed with eight other singers to bring home the Golden Prize, garnering 98.4 points by the jury and 52 per cent of the audience vote.
She received VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) in cash.
“Cương offered something new in her role in the two performances which have catapulted many artists to fame. She combined traditional and modern styles," said Meritorious Artist Minh Vương, a member of the jury.
The contest’s final round was broadcast live on HTV9 and attracted more than 70,000 viewers in the city and southern provinces.
Twenty-eight-year-old Võ Thị Ngọc Quyền of HCM City was the runner-up, while her closest competitor, 30-year-old Phạm Văn Nguyên of Đồng Tháp Province, finished third.
“I learned many lessons in singing and performance skills from my teacher, Meritorious Artist Phượng Loan, who trained me during the contest and performed with me in Chuyện Tấm Cám,” the 20-year-old Cương said.
Cương began learning singing when she was a child and performed in cải lương clubs in Sóc Trăng while at school.
She has worked with veteran artists such as Meritorious Artist Quế Trân and Hữu Quốc to improve her voice and dance skills.
“After winning the Chuông Vàng prize, I will have opportunities to develop my career professionally. I also better understand why it is important for young artists to preserve and develop cải lương,” said Cương.
The Chuông Vàng contest, organised by HCM City Television, seeks to bring together new talents and fans of cải lương. The event began in 2006 and has attracted millions of attendees from around the country.
The participants perform vọng cổ and cải lương, two of the region’s most popular forms of traditional music.
This year, the contest was held over a three-month period in HCM City, with 330 participants aged 16 to 35 from amateur and professional troupes around the country. — VNS