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Hà Tĩnh hosts fourth National Ca Trù Festival

Update: October, 25/2018 - 09:00
Musical notes: The opening ceremony of the 3rd Ca Trù National Festival in Hà Nội in 2014. — Photo Vnplus
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — The fourth National Ca Trù Festival will be held with the participation of ca trù troupes from the whole nation in the central province of Hà Tĩnh from November 1-5. 

The festival is co-held by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourim and the Hà Tĩnh People’s Committee aiming to review national efforts to preserve and develop ca trù. Ca trù is a complex form of sung poetry found in the north of Việt Nam in the 11th century using lyrics written in traditional Vietnamese poetic forms. 

Ca trù was added by UNESCO to the list of intantangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2009.

"The festival organisation aims to bring ca trù off the list of heritage in need of urgent safeguarding," said Phạm Minh Hương, deputy-director of Việt Nam Institute of Musicology at the press conference held in Hà Nội on Wednesday.

"It is one of important tasks Vietnamese government is committed to implementing in the dossier submitted to UNESCO."

The festival will gather ca trù troupes from 13 out of the 15 provinces that share the tradition of ca trù, including Hà Nội, the northern province of Hải Dương, the central province of Quảng Bình and HCM City. Only Vĩnh Phúc and Nam Định provinces in the north of the country will not participate at the festival. 

"Việt Nam signed the UNESCO convention for the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, so there is no reason for Vĩnh Phúc and Nam Định provinces’ absence," said veteran musician and researcher Đặng Hoành Loan at the press conference held in Hà Nội on Wednesday. "The two provinces are two of the biggest hubs for ca trù. They should take responsibility to participate in the national festival."

Each ca trù troupe including one singer and two musicians will perform a repertoire which will last from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. The competition repertoire will include obligatory and open performances.

The performers will be required to sing at least three forms of ca trù given by the festival organisation and one by poet and scholar Nguyễn Công Trứ (1778-1858). The open performance will be based on the typical cultural characteristics of each province. 

This year the festival will focus on young ca trù singers because many veteran singers who participated in the first festival in 2008 are too old or passed away. To compete at the festival, the young singers must know how to sing 10 forms of ca trù, according to Loan.

"Many of them now can sing two forms called Thiên Thai and Hát Thờ which are very difficult," he said. "I think it is a good sign for the protection and development of ca trù."

A combination of ca trù and pop music will be featured for the first time at the fourth festival’s opening ceremony on November 1 at Hà Tĩnh’s Centre for Culture and Cinema, 21 Phan Đình Phùng Street. — VNS

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