New reality TV contest celebrates 100 years of reformed opera

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Đoàn Bảo Ngọc, a young performer from a famous tuồng cổ troupe, participtes in Trăm Năm Ánh Việt (A Hundred Years of Cải Lương), a new TV show that aims to highlight young talent and promote cải lương (reformed opera). Photo courtesy of the producer

HCM CITY — A new TV show called Trăm Năm Ánh Việt (A Hundred Years of Cải Lương) is being broadcast on the Vĩnh Long Television and Radio Station (THVL).

The show aims to revive the 100-year-old traditional music genre of the south by popularizing it among people, particularly the youth.

It features 18 young cải lương and tuồng cổ (classical drama) performers who also share the desire to boost the profile of Vietnam’s traditional arts. They include Thy Nhung, Hoàng Việt Trung and Ngọc Kiều Oanh, who have won top prizes at cải lương contests organised by local radio and TV stations.

Đoàn Bảo Ngọc and Tô Tiểu Long, young performers from the famous tuồng cổ troupes of Tiền Giang and Huỳnh Long, are also featured in the show.

All contestants will display their voices and skills by singing vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) and cải lương songs.

They must also perform in famous cải lương excerpts to prove their acting skills before the jury of Meritorious Artists Vũ Thành Vinh, Thoại Mỹ and Hữu Quốc.

Hữu Quốc, who has been involved in cải lương for 30 years, said: “Each contestant will have an opportunity to play different characters from various cải lương plays, and also face secret challenges.”

“What we want to see is the ability of young performers to sing, act and improvise,” he added.

During the contest, the organisers have created chances for contestants to perform with their idols like veteran actor Ngọc Giàu and People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết, are known as cải lương gurus.

People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết said she had faith in the young people who have devoted their life to follow and preserve traditional arts.

She said: “They are ‘diamond generation’ of cải lương.”

The reality TV contest Trăm Năm Ánh Việt is broadcast 9pm on Fridays on the THVL1 channel. VNS

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