CẦN THƠ — The Cửu Long (Mekong) Delta city of Cần Thơ will organise a Tài Tử competition from April 6-14 as part of cultural activities planned to promote tourism.
The contest also aims to propagate the traditional chamber music genre that originated in southern Việt Nam around 100 years ago.
The contest is open to both professional and amateur artists from tài tử clubs, art troupes and theatres in the region. Students who love to sing tài tử are also encouraged to participate.
The participants will perform tài tử and vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) music, the latter another traditional art form used in cải lương (reformed opera).
Participants are required to use Vietnamese traditional like the kìm (two-stringed guitar), cò (vertical violin with two strings), tranh (16-chord zither) and bầu (monochord zither), should be used.
Golden medals will be presented for the best solo and group performances.
Special prizes will be given to the youngest and oldest performers.
Tài tử has been described as a prototype for vọng cổ and cải lương, often performed at festivals and on special occasions like weddings and death anniversaries in the Mekong Delta provinces of Cần Thơ, Vĩnh Long, Bạc Liêu and Cà Mau.
It was recognised as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2013.
In February, Cần Thơ had launched a cultural programme performing tài tử shows targeting tourists.
The programme will feature more than 20 actors from Tây Đô Theatre – the city’s State-owned and leading traditional art troupe and dozens of amateur performers from tài tử music clubs.
Shows start at 8am at the floating market Cái Răng, a favourite tourist site every Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors can meet with artists, learn how to play and sing after every show.
“We hope to bring tài tử music closer to visitors who love to discover local culture and lifestyles during their trip,” said Hồng Thuỷ, a Tây Đô troupe member. – VNS