100 years of Vietnam’s reformed opera put on stage

(VOVWORLD) - Talented artists across Vietnam recently staged a play to celebrate 100 years of Cai Luong or Vietnamese reformed opera. The 150-minute play, Thay Ba Doi (Teacher Ba Doi), portrays the career of famous musician Nguyen Quang Dai, a guru of Cai Luong. Scripted by VOV President Nguyen The Ky, the play gives the audience an insight into the history of Vietnam’s Cai Luong.
100 years of Vietnam’s reformed opera put on stage - ảnh 1

The play tells the life of Nguyen Quang Dai, who was in hiding due to his support of the Can Vuong movement, a large-scale Vietnamese insurgency between 1885 and 1889 against French colonial rule, and through his love story with Ai Hoa, the daughter of a local governor.

The play was opened with a scene of a cemetery in sunset in Rach Gia, Sai Gon, in 1917, where Nguyen Quang Dai was buried. It then turned back to the days musician Ba Doi brought ceremonial music and Hue royal court music to southern Vietnam, and mixed them with classical opera and amateur singing into today’s Cai Luong or Vietnamese reformed opera. The character of Ba Doi was played by 4 singers representing the northern, central, and southern regions of Vietnam, who sang in their regional accents.

"Four artists represent different characteristics of Nguyen Quang Dai in different stages of his life. Their performances were enthusiastically welcomed by the audience," said Trieu Trung Kien, Deputy Director of the Vietnam Cai Luong Theater.

100 years of Vietnam’s reformed opera put on stage - ảnh 2

“In addition to the main character, other characters were also very interesting. Ai Hoa represents southern people who accommodated and supported teacher Ba Doi and helped him hide from the enemies. Other characters include Ai Hoa’s mother who successfully represents images of a typical Vietnamese mother with a kind heart and great sacrifices for others. Each artists did their best in their performances, contributing to the play’s success and leaving deep impressions on the audience," added Kien, who said audience was treated to top performances by artists from across Vietnam in “Teacher Ba Doi". 

Quang Khai, one of the four artists playing character Nguyen Quang Dai in “Teacher Ba Doi”, told VOV: "Professional artists like us are easily connected and cooperated well in this play thanks to our great love for Cai Luong. We all did our best to make the play an art work that can reach the audiences’ hearts."

The play combined both traditional and modern performance styles with much investment in production, costumes, sound and light effects.