Viet Nam News
By Thu Anh
HCM CITY — The new and privately owned Cải Lương (reformed opera) Vũ Luân Troupe, composed of 20 young actors, has opened in HCM City.
Managed by veteran actor Vũ Luân, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, the troupe offers shows aimed at young people.
The troupe’s actors are mostly students from art schools in the city and neighbouring provinces.
“I want to bring the art closer to young audiences,” said the 47-year-old.
In coming weeks, the troupe will offer historical plays that highlight national heroes. Productions featuring the beauty of Vietnamese women will also be staged.
The artists will perform on a stage with sound and light effects at Hưng Đạo Theatre, one of the city’s prestigious cultural centres.
Luân has invited cải lương stars, such as Tú Sương and Trường Sơn, to perform with his actors.
“Veteran artists will help young talents improve their vocal and performance skills in the hopes that they’ll develop a professional career and the troupe will become a place for people to enjoy the art in a unique way," said Luân.
The troupe debuted last weekend with a series of excerpts from famous plays, such as Tô Ánh Nguyệt (Ms Tô Ánh Nguyệt) and Thiên Thần Áo Trắng (Angel in White Blouse), featuring historical events.
The show attracted more than 300 people, many of them students from the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University and HCM City University of Culture.
The troupe will offer performances for VNĐ50,000 (US$2) a ticket to serve students and low-income people, Luan said. “We hope our performance will lure youngsters away from online games,” he said.
Born to a poor family in HCM City, Luân began his love for cải lương when he was a child. His first lessons came from Út Trọn, a veteran artist who offered courses at his home to discover new talents.
Later, he improved his skills under the instruction of Bạch Long, owner of the Đồng Ấu Troupe which consisted of teenage artists.
Unlike his colleagues, Luân believes that his appearance gave him “no chance to become the star I wanted to be".
"But my teachers told me that for a true artist, his or her beauty is nothing without performance skills."
In 2001, Luân worked for the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, one of the country’s leading cải lương troupes.
Two years later, his first live show, titled Đường Tới Tương Lai (Reaching to the Future), offered extravagant performances staged by nearly 200 artists, dancers, musicians and stuntmen. The show attracted nearly 1,000 visitors
In 2007, he won a gold medal at the 2007 National Competition for Cải Lương Young Talents, organised annually by the HCM City Theatre Association. He spent 20 years before taking home his first national prize.
Luân’s troupe is offering performances every Saturday at 8pm at 136 Trần Hưng Đạo Street in District 1. — VNS