Semiweekly event promotes traditional classical opera

To bring tuong, the traditional classical opera of Vietnam, closer to the audience, Vietnam Tuong Theater has organized a semiweekly event called “Exploring classical opera” at Hong Ha Theatre in Hanoi.
The program, which takes place every Monday and Thursday, offers an exciting experience for tuong lovers who can go on stage to explore their talent. The event also gives the audience a chance to discuss with tuong artists about the traditional classical opera and classic pieces performed in the history of tuong.

The program consists of two parts. In the first part, the audience gets a chance to see the art of make-up used in tuong. Before a performance, spectators are allowed to enter the make-up room to see how the artists create tuong masks. An MC will explain to participants the meaning of the lines and colors of the makeup which show the characteristics of each person.

Tuong masks. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

The audience can select these tuong costumes for their characters.  Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

Makeup can show the characteristics of each character. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

Tuong artists explain the characters in a play to the audience. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

Visitors explore musical instruments used for tuong. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

The second part is the performance of a tuong piece mixed with a detailed introduction on the characteristics of the art. The staged dramas are excerpts of classic tuong plays such as “Ong gia cong vo di xem hoi” (Old man carrying his wife on his back to a festival), Hue imperial court music, and tuong dances including “Lan me de lan con” (Kylin giving birth), “Ho Nguyet Co hoa cao” (Ho Nguyet Co turning into a fox), and “Nghi le tho Mau” (Vietnamese ritual of the worship of Mother Goddesses).

After the performance, the audience is told about the art of setting up a show and have a chance to talk with the artists about their feelings, thoughts and performing experiences and the characters that they play.

This creative and interesting program has attracted a lot of tourists and Vietnamese young people. “Vietnam Tuong Theater will encourage these activities to promote tuong art to an extent that the art is not only staged in the theatre but in community festivals and schools,” said Nguyen Ngoc Han, who is in charge of external relations of the performance organization division.

Vietnam Tuong Theater organizes a semiweekly event “Exploring classical opera” at Hong Ha Theatre in Hanoi.

“Old man carrying his wife on his back to a festival”, a classic tuong piece performed by
the artists of the Vietnam Tuong Theater. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

Tuong is performed in Hanoi’s old quarter to show the original traditional art to the public. Photo: Khanh Long / VNP

To promote tuong for international audiences, Vietnam Tuong Theatre in September organized a production introducing tuong to ambassadors, counselors and their spouses of 34 embassies in Hanoi.

“This is the first time I have watched this unique type of Vietnam classical opera. The performers introduced us to each of their wonderful emotions and we felt the cultural characteristics of tuong,” said Ireland’s Ambassador Cait Moran
By Bich Van - Khanh Long


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