Cải lương troupes prepare to regale farmers during holiday season

December, 23/2019 - 10:14

Cải lương (reformed opera) troupes in the Cửu Long Mekong) River Delta region are rehearsing for a slew of new shows that they hopes will prove to be fun for farmers watching them during the Christmas and New Year and Tết.


Artists of cải lương (reformed opera) troupes in the Cửu Long Mekong) River Delta region will offer news shows that they hope will prove to be fun for farmers during the Christmas, New Year and Tết holiday season. — Photo by Duy Khôi 

CẦN THƠ— Cải lương (reformed opera) troupes in the Cửu Long Mekong) River Delta region are rehearsing new shows that they hope will prove to be fun for farmers during the Christmas, New Year and Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday season.

Cần Thơ City’s Tây Đô Cải Lương Troupe will offer comedy shows that will, as usual, focus on the year’s top social and cultural events. Historical plays about national heroes will also be included.

Shows on tài tử music, a traditional genre of southern theatre, will be staged on boats on the Cái Răng Floating Market every weekend.

These shows aim to serve tourists and star young talents such as Phương Anh, Hồng Thủy and Kim Ngân.  

"Our shows featuring tài tử songs will reflect farmers' daily lives, including work and family problems, and have lessons for the audience," Hồng Quốc Khánh, head of the troupe, said.

The theatre’s shows will begin next week and run through Tết, which starts on January 25 and runs through February 4.

In Bạc Liêu Province, the Cao Văn Lầu Theatre is offering free cải lương shows every Saturday.

Veterans and young talents will perform excerpts from popular operas like Mùa Xuân Bất Tận (The Endless Spring) and Mặt Trời Đỏ (Red Sun) describing patriotism.  

They will also perform excerpts from their new plays, Duyên Kiếp (Destiny of Love) and Dưới Rặng Dừa Xanh (Under the Coconut Tree), both featuring stories about love and betrayal.

The plays helped young actors of Cao Văn Lầu Theatre win golden and silver medals for leading roles at the National Professional Cải Lương Festival 2018 held in Long An Province last year. 

More than 800 people are expected to visit the theatre every weekend in the Christmas and New Year holiday. The number will double during Tết. 

The Hương Tràm Theatre of Cà Mau Province offers Ông Táo (Kitchen God), a series of one and two-act comedy featuring southern dances and songs and based on traditional legends.

“We always stage Ông Táo every Tết to entertain local farmers. The show is our theatre’s tradition,” said Meritorious Artist Hoa Phượng of Hương Tràm Theatre. 

“On the 23rd of the last lunar month, Vietnamese families clean their kitchens and worship Ông Táo as he leaves for heaven to report about the family to the God of Heaven. He returns to the kitchen on the 30th.”  

“This season, our young actors, graduates of film and theatre universities, will stage Ông Táo shows,” said Phượng.

Phượng and her staff will travel to remote areas to stage their shows during the holidays of Christmas and New Year and Tết.

Like other cải lương troupes in the Cửu Long region, Hương Tràm Theatre spends around VNĐ70 million (US$3,000) on a new show this season.

“The money is not enough.  Most of our shows are free. Some cost VNĐ20,000 (US$9).  We hope to create a happy and peaceful season for poor farmers and children," said Phượng.

Last year during the holidays, Hương Tràm Troupe travelled around Cà Mau and neighbouring provinces like Bạc Liêu, Đồng Tháp and Hậu Giang and performed in front of more than 40,000 people. — VNS