Cải lương needs state support

May 11, 2020 - 10:25

Cải lương tuồng cổ (a form of Vietnamese folk opera) is in need of state support as it faces a severe shortage of human resources, according to Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.


Cải lương tuồng cổ faces severe labour sources. — Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn

HCM CITY — Cải lương tuồng cổ (a form of Vietnamese reformed folk opera) is in need of state support as it faces a severe shortage of human resources, according to Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.

Four private groups are training performers for cải lương tuồng cổ, namely Minh Tơ-Thanh Sơn, Huỳnh Long-Bình Tinh, Đồng Ấu Bạch Long, and Chí Linh-Vân Hà.

Bạch Long and Thanh Sơn are two dedicated artists who have devoted their time to train future young performers.

The Thanh Sơn-Bạch Long group, with over 20 years of experience, is in charge of training young children, while the Minh Tơ-Thanh Sơn group has passed a five-year mark.

They recruited 100 young performers, but only 20 of them chose to stay because there was no fixed stage or performing schedules.

Bạch Long said that he had taught for free, but the performing stage was disappointing and the number of student continued to decrease.

Even though Thanh Niên Cultural House sometimes schedules a stage for cải lương tuồng cổ, it would be more helpful if young performers have somewhere to practise their skills, Thanh Sơn said.

Most young performers pursuing cải lương tuồng cổ have a second job such as mechanics, motorbike taxi drivers and online sellers so they can invest in costumes for each role, Bạch Long said.

“There is also a serious shortage of young musicians who can play cải lương tuồng cổ,” he said.

Experts agreed that it is important for authorities to immediately come up with preferential policies to save the private groups such as Đồng Ấu Bạch Long and Minh Tơ-Thanh Sơn. 

Fixed performances should be scheduled so that performers have something to admire. 

“It is not possible to have quality performers without enthusiastic leaders. We are not afraid of difficulties as cải lương tuồng cổ was founded by our fathers and we will do as much as possible to protect their legacy,” Bạch Long said. — VNS