Actor Lê Nguyễn Trường Giang of HCM City perfoms in Hồi Sử Cổ Nhân (Vietnamese History), a web drama series featuring cải lương songs and plays about Vietnamese history and culture. The work will be on YouTube in August. (Photo courtesy of the organiser)
HCM CITY— A web drama series on cải lương (reformed opera), the south’s most popular theatre form, has started to be released on YouTube this week.
The four-episode show, Hồi Sử Cổ Nhân (Vietnamese History), features historic events and national heroes under the Nguyễn Dynasty during the 17th and 18th centuries.
It stars young talent Lê Nguyễn Trường Giang, winner of Sao Nối Ngôi (Young Stars), a TV programme featuring young actors in cải lương on Vĩnh Long Television’s THVL1 channel in 2017.
In the work, actor Giang performs with young artists such as Mỹ Anh, Như Quỳnh and Trần Phương, graduates of the HCM City University of Theatre & Cinematography.
They perform vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) songs and famous extracts from cải lương plays in praise of the country and patriotism.
“My older colleagues and teachers helped developed my career in a professional way. I want to try a new form by using YouTube to expand my art among young people,” said Giang, who is also the show’s producer.
“I believe releasing web dramas on YouTube is a good way to save money on production and province audiences with cải lương,” he said.
The actor began filming last month and has spent more than VNĐ300 million (US$22,000) on production.
Another actor, Bình Tinh of the private Huỳnh Long Tuổng Troupe, will release a series of web dramas called YouTube Cải Lương Tuồng Cổ this month.
Tinh and his colleagues, Thái Vinh and Âu Thiên Phú, perform extracts from historical plays including Mặt Trời Đêm Thế Kỷ (Sun after the Long Night), a new play by veteran female scriptwriter Bạch Mai, owner of Huỳnh Long Tuồng Troupe.
“Our performances highlight patriotism and loyalty,” said Tinh, winner of the Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell) Awards 2016, a national cải lương contest presented by Hồ Chí Minh Television.
“We have worked hard to make each show a lesson, with images, sounds and music, that provides young audiences with wonderful things about their history, traditional culture and theatre,” the 29-year-old said. — VNS