|Starlet: Phương Mai, one of the contestants who has been highly praised. — Photo courtesy of Việt Nam Television|
HÀ NỘI — The final round of the Sao Mai (Morning Star) contest will start today with the participation of the 15 best contestants.
The singers from all over Việt Nam will compete in three genres of chamber music, folk music, and pop.
The organising board will select two contestants in each of the three genres to enter the final night on April 14 which will be broadcast live on VTV1.
The competition’s finale and awards ceremony will be held at FLC Hạ Long Resort, Quảng Ninh Province.
The jury board will give top prizes for the best singers of the three categories. One of the three winners will be selected to compete at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) Television contest.
The names of the nine members of the jury board will be kept secret until the first night of the final round to protect the transparency of the contest and not influence the songs to be performed, according to Trịnh Lê Văn, head of the organising board.
“The jury board includes famous musicians, composers and researchers. If the contestants know the judges, they may choose to perform songs written by them.”
Musician Dương Cầm, music director of the contest, said this year’s contest includes a number of changes.
“With strict criteria, the contest will help young singers improve their skills and establish a career as a professional singer,” said Cầm.
“In this contest, the participants don’t compete just for prizes, but they have a chance to exchange and earn more experience, they will be aware of the responsibilities of professional singers.”
“A council of experts will help the contestants practise and improve their talents,” said Cầm. He also revealed that in the category of folk music, the contestants will perform songs dedicated to UNESCO sites in Việt Nam and songs of ví dặm (folk singing of the central region) and quan họ (love duets).
The contest was organised in three regions across the country since December last year, to select the best singers for the final round.
The prestigious song contest, first conceived as the National Television Singing Festival, has been held by Việt Nam Television (VTV) every two years since 1997.
It aims to promote singing among people nationwide and communities of overseas Vietnamese.
This is the only singing contest nationwide featuring three genres of chamber music, folk music and pop. Many well-known Vietnamese singers have emerged from the contest. — VNS