Viet Nam News
ĐỒNG THÁP — The Đồng Tháp Traditional Art Troupe is offering performances of new, quality shows for people living in remote or rural areas who have limited entertainment choices.
The performances will include historical cải lương (reformed opera) plays in praise of the country, national heroes and soldiers, as well as comedy shows focusing on social and cultural issues.
Veteran and young talents like Meritorious Artist Hải Yến, Kim Anh and Thành Tây will perform excerpts from popular operas such as Huyền Thoại Người Mẹ (The Legend of Mother) depicting parents’ love and sacrifices for their children.
They will also perform excerpts from their new play, Người Đồng Bằng (The Rural Land), a story about young farmers who adopt a new rural model for their villages.
Directed by Lê Nguyên Đạt, the play helped talented actresses Yến and Kim Oanh win the gold medal for a leading role at the National Cải Lương Festival held last month by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in Long An Province.
It also won the silver prize for best play.
The festival attracted several hundred artists from 25 State-owned and private theatres and troupes in HCM City and Cửu Long region.
Yến and her young colleagues will also perform tài tử songs, a genre of cải lương, based on the province’s traditional legends and customs.
"Our shows with songs and dances that reflect farmers’ daily lives depict work and family issues," veteran actor Đinh Minh Mẫn, former head of the troupe, said.
Mẫn has more than 40 years of experience working in cải lương. He and his young staff often travel to remote areas to stage their shows during Tết (Lunar New Year).
"We want to create a happy and peaceful Tết ambience for poor farmers and children who have fewer entertainment choices than their urban counterparts,” he said.
"We offer 120 shows and concerts per year. We also perform free for the poor and disadvantaged."
Like other cải lương troupes in the Cửu Long (Mekong) River Delta, Mẫn’s troupe receives VNĐ1.5 billion (US$64,000) a year from the province to run its operations.
"We face many challenges in offering a stable income to our performers and staging quality plays," Mẫn said, adding the troupe’s managing board is working with local companies and organisations to find financial support.
Đồng Tháp Traditional Art Troupe began its business in 1959. The troupe has trained many talented artists for generations who have contributed to the preservation of cải lương.
Last year, during Tết, the troupe’s actors travelled throughout Đồng Tháp and neighbouring provinces such as Bạc Liêu, Hậu Giang and Cà Mau, performing in front of more than 30,000 people. — VNS