National cải lương contest presents eight gold medals

November 09, 2020 - 09:23

 The national traditional music contest Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020 closed in HCM City on Tuesday. 


Cải lương artists performed during Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020, a national traditional music contest organised by the HCM City Television and HCM City Theatre Association. — Photo courtesy of the organiser  

By Thu Anh 

HCM CITY — The national traditional music Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020 contest has closed in HCM City. 

Eight gold medals for best actors were presented at the event’s prize presentation ceremony before 500 guests at HCM City Television’s Theatre Hall.  

The winners were from leading art troupes in HCM City, Hà Nội and the southern provinces of Bạc Liêu, Cà Mau and Long An. 

Winners Lê Thanh Thảo and Võ Thành Phê, both of whom work for Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre in HCM City, performed in a special cải lương (reformed opera) style during the two-month contest.

Actress Thảo performed a famous extract from Bão Táp Nguyên Phong (Storm in Thăng Long Citadel), a historical play featuring patriotism and courage, in the final round. She played a female general who served at the Thăng Long Citadel under the Trần dynasty (1225-1400). Her voice, dance and performance skills captured the character well. 


Actress Lê Thanh Thảo of the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre won a gold medal for Best Artist at the national traditional music contest Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020in HCM City on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the organiser)  

Thảo gained lessons from her mother, veteran actress Thanh Loan of Minh Tơ Troupe, one of the region’s leading cải lương theatres in the 1950s-60s. 

“I have worked to create new styles in singing and dancing to lure young people back to cải lương, a 100-year-old traditional theatre of the South,” Thảo said. “I will try my best to maintain my family’s artistic tradition.”

Thảo’s main competitor, actor Phê, played a lead role in Con Cò Trắng (White Stork), a production about southern farmers and their challenges in modern society today. Phê, playing a poor farmer, captured the beauty of southern culture and lifestyle.

“I gained new experiences from my competitors during the contest,” said Phê, a son of Long An Province who faced challenges to develop his career.

Phê began his career in 2008 after winning first prize at the Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell) Contest, a national competition for amateur and young cải lương artists launched by Radio the Voice of HCM City People. 

He performed in small art troupes in southern provinces before working for Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre. 

The Talented Performers 2020 contest, was organised by the HCM City Television and the HCM City Theatre Association. It attracted about 400 candidates who performed vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) songs and cải lương plays. 


The contest Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Talented Performers 2020 was organised by the HCM City Television and HCM City Theatre Association. ( Photo courtesy of the organiser)

Its semi-final rounds took place in HCM City, Cần Thơ and Hà Nội in September. Twenty finalists worked with skilled performers, such as People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết and Meritorious Artist Vũ Linh, who were invited to help them improve their art.

All performances aired live on the HTV9 channel, serving millions of viewers around the country. 

According to People’s Artist Trần Ngọc Giàu, who was the head of the contest’s jury, the contest began in 2000 and has discovered new talents in theatre.

“This year, young and veteran artists were encouraged to introduce new performance styles to expand the art among audiences, particularly young people,” he said.  

Twelve silver medals were also presented to male and female artists, as well as titles for Favourite Performer and Youngest Talent. — VNS