Traditional music show brings old styles to youth
Update: Nov 26, 2008
Pop and dance tunes dominate Ho Chi Minh City’s entertainment scene but traditional music is finally getting its due with a “cai luong” (reformed opera) show this week.

The show Huyen Su Vietnam (Vietnamese Legendary History) features dozens of excerpts from popular “cai luong” plays in praise of the country, its history and culture.

Many of the excerpts are recognized canons of cai luong theatre.

HCM City Television Station (HTV) and its partners played a role in encouraging youth to learn more about the country’s history and traditional arts.

To be staged at Dam Sen Park’s Water Music Centre, the show expects an audience of more than 1,300 people, including teenagers who often prefer more modern music.

Residents in remote areas will also have access to the show, which will be broadcast live on HTV channels.

“By performing and listening to “cai luong”, a traditional form of music in south of Vietnam, young generations can improve their love and knowledge about the country and its history,” said Vo Thanh Phe, winner of last week’s HTV’s traditional music contest Vong Co (Golden Bell).

The 29-year-old said he found inspiration by singing old tunes of “cai luong”, discovering that “performing is learning”.

Phe and his colleagues will perform in “cai luong” plays such as Rang Ro Vietnam (Brilliant Vietnam), Dem Hoi Long Tri (Thang Long Festival Night) and Nu Tuong Co Dao (A Female Commander), which will feature Vietnam’s historical events and national heroes.

Many of the musicians are students and migrant workers who love the country’s history and traditional art.

The show’s organizers were intent on offering a professional show and invited veteran “cai luong” stars Le Thuy, Minh Vuong, Thanh Ngan and Thoai My to perform with the younger generation on stage.

Vietnamese Legendary History starts at 8 pm on Nov. 27, 2008 at 3 Hoa Binh Street, District 11, HCM City. Performances are free.