Cai luong troupe prepares to regale farmers for Tet

Update: January, 28/2010 - 09:44

CA MAU — Ca Mau Province’s Huong Tram Cai Luong (reformed opera) Troupe is rehearsing for a slew of new shows that it hopes will prove to be fun for farmers watching them during Tet (the Lunar New Year) holidays.

They include comedy shows that will, as usual, focus on the year’s top social and cultural events.

Veterans and young talents like Tuan Liem, Hong Chi, Minh Sang and Hoa Phuong will perform excerpts from popular operas like Huyen Thoai Nguoi Meï (The Legend of Mother) describing parents’ love and sacrifices for their children.

They will also perform excerpts from their new play, Goc Khuat Trai Tim (Darkness of the Heart), a post-war story about love and betrayal.

The play, directed by Tran Ngoc Giau, helped young actress Hoa Phuong win the silver medal for a leading role at the National Professional Cai Luong Festival held in HCM City late last year.

Phuong and her colleagues will also perform Ong Tao (Kitchen God), a comedy featuring dances and songs and based on traditional legends.

On the 23rd day of the last lunar month, Vietnamese families clean their kitchens and worship Ong Tao as he leaves for heaven to report about the family to the King of Heaven. He returns to the kitchen on the 30th.

“Ong Tao will reflect farmers’ daily lives, including work and family problems, and have lessons for the audience,” Nguyen Minh Duong, head of the troupe, said.

He and his artists decided to travel to remote areas to stage their shows because “we want to create a happy and peaceful Tet ambience for poor farmers and children who have fewer entertainment choices than their urban counterparts”.

“Most of our shows are free. Some cost VND3,000 to VND10,000.”

Like other cai luong troupes in the Cuu Long (Mekong) River Delta, Duong’s troupe gets around VND1.5 billion from the province to run itself.

“We face many challenges in offering a stable income to our performers and staging quality plays,” Duong said, adding he hoped local companies and organisations would offer more financial support to traditional troupes.

Last year during Tet his troupe travelled around Ca Mau and neighbouring province and performed in front of more than 20,000 people. — VNS