Hồ Chí Minh’s career to be brought to musical stage

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A scene from the rehearsal of ‘Người Cầm Lái’ (The Helmsman), a musical about the life and revolutionary career of President Hồ Chí Minh, produced by the Public Security Theatre. Photo courtesy of the organiser

HÀ NỘI — Người Cầm Lái (The Helmsman), a musical which tells the story about the life and revolutionary career of President Hồ Chí Minh, is scheduled to be performed on stage on April 24 and May 17.

Produced by the Public Security Theatre, the musical aims to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the theatre (April 24, 1982-2022) and 132 years of President Hồ’s birth (May 19, 1890-2022).

Centring on the life and career of Hồ Chí Minh, from the moment he left Việt Nam to find a way for the nation’s freedom, independence and unification, the musical focuses on the time after he travelled abroad, returned to the country to start the war of resistance against the French, and displays the image of President Hồ with the People’s Security force.

The musical’s art direction is by People’s Artist Nguyễn Thị Thúy Hiền, director of the Public Security Theatre, with a team of 180 artists, including many big names in the fields of theatre, music and dance.

Following Nguyễn Xuân Thắng’s original script, choreographer Nguyễn Thị Tuyết Minh is the musical’s general director. She also manages the show’s dance performances with the help of choreographers Nguyễn Văn Dũng and Mạnh Quyền.

The music will be performed by one choir, one symphony orchestra and one ethnic orchestra with musician Đỗ Hồng Quân, president of the Union of Arts and Literature Associations of Việt Nam as music advisor.

According to choreographer Minh the musical was built in the symphony-choir form of academic art, but still represents the traditional heritage of the national theatre stage, honouring Vietnamese cultural identity through the sound of traditional musical instruments and folk-dance material.

“To build an artistic image to reflect President Hồ’s lifestyle and wisdom is a special difficulty and challenge,” Minh said.

“This musical is like a reel showing moments of President Hồ Chí Minh’s 30-year journey of finding a way to save the country, so the highlight and challenge of the show is how to convey his images in different spaces and times.

“Making dancing depict the image of the nation’s beloved leader has always been a dream in my career. I hope The Helmsman will be a great work, bringing a lot of emotions and many new perspectives through storytelling in the language of music and dance.

“The audience will feel the quintessence of world classic musical art blending with the traditional stage “flowing” into the formation of Hồ Chí Minh’s thought.”

Another highlight of the show is the flexible stage design with fixed and dynamic scenes, using virtual technology effects, the curved LED screen embracing the map of Việt Nam is expected to create special visual and auditory effects for the audiences.

The open stage will also help the audience enjoy the full techniques of the artists instead of just hearing the sound from backstage as usual.

The musical is expected to take place over two nights, April 24 and May 17 at the Hà Nội Opera House. — VNS

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