Contest revives traditional music

Update: July, 02/2016 - 12:00
Traditional musical arts: Past winners of the Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ contest have become professional artists working for leading traditional art troupes in the region. -- VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY —  Residents aged 16 to 35 in HCM City and provinces have been invited to  compete in the Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell), a national amateur traditional music contest, with the word "amateur" refers to an artist who is excellent in traditional music and has a special talent for playing the instruments and singing.

The participants will perform vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) and cải lương (reformed theatre), two of the region’s most popular forms of traditional music.

The annual contest, organised by HCM City Television, seeks to bring together new talents and fans of cải lương music. The event began in 2006 and has attracted millions of viewers around the country.

Twelve finalists will compete for different prizes, including the first prize Golden Bell,  Favourite Performer, and Youngest Talent.

The audiences will vote for the winners.

Organisers will invite previous Golden Bell winners, including cải lương stars Võ Minh Lâm and Ngọc Đợi, to perform on the contest’s closing night.   

The three-month contest’s selective rounds will begin this weekend in HCM City, Hà Nội, and provinces such as Khánh Hòa, Phú Yên, Bình Dương, Tiền Giang and Long An.

The event will air every Thursday and Saturday at 8pm on HTV9.

 “Our contest Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ has attracted more than 10,000 contestants in the past 10 years. Winners have become professional artists working for leading traditional art troupes in the region,” said composer Kiều Tấn, a member of the contest’s organising board.  

Traditional music 

Vọng cổ is an art form native to southern Việt Nam as part of cải lương. It is a set of sad and languorous tunes depicting the thoughts, dreams and laments of local farmers in the old days.

"Cải lương and vọng cổ in particular are a part of the country’s spirit. Our performers have worked hard to attract young people to learn and love traditional music," said Nguyễn Minh Trường, winner of the contest last year.  

Trường’s voice and dance skills garnered more than 25,000 votes from audiences.

He now works for the Trần Hữu Trang Cải Lương Theatre, one of the region’s leading tradional art troupes. 

He has played leading roles in popular cải lương plays such as Người Đánh Rơi Hạnh Phúc (Lose Yourself), Tiếng Hò Sông Hậu (Voice of  the Hậu River) and Trần Thủ Độ (National Hero Trần Thủ Độ).   

Trường believes that finalists of Chuông Vàng Vọng Cổ this year will be more confident to develop their career on stage after the contest.

"A brighter future will soon open up to these artists so long as they continue to learn and work," he said. — VNS