Cải lương tuồng cổ (a form of Vietnamese reformed folk opera) is in need of state support as it faces a severe shortage of human resources, according to Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.
|Cải lương tuồng cổ faces severe labour sources. — Photo courtesy of nld.com.vn|
Four private groups are training performers for cải lương tuồng cổ, namely Minh To-Thanh Son, Huynh Long-Binh Tinh, Dong Au Bach Long, and Chi Linh-Van Ha.
Bach Long and Thanh Son are two dedicated artists who have devoted their time to train future young performers.
The Thanh Son-Bach Long group, with over 20 years of experience, is in charge of training young children, while the Minh To-Thanh Son group has passed a five-year mark.
They recruited 100 young performers, but only 20 of them chose to stay because there was no fixed stage or performing schedules.
Bach Long said that he had taught for free, but the performing stage was disappointing and the number of student continued to decrease.
Even though Thanh Niên Cultural House sometimes schedules a stage for cải lương tuồng cổ, it would be more helpful if young performers have somewhere to practise their skills, Thanh Son said.
Most young performers pursuing cải lương tuồng cổ have a second job such as mechanics, motorbike taxi drivers and online sellers so they can invest in costumes for each role, Bach Long said.
“There is also a serious shortage of young musicians who can play cải lương tuồng cổ,” he said.
Experts agreed that it is important for authorities to immediately come up with preferential policies to save the private groups such as Dong Au Bach Long and Minh To-Thanh Son.
Fixed performances should be scheduled so that performers have something to admire.
“It is not possible to have quality performers without enthusiastic leaders. We are not afraid of difficulties as cải lương tuồng cổ was founded by our fathers and we will do as much as possible to protect their legacy,” Bach Long said. VNS
A long-term drama project featuring the traditional music genre of the southern region, cai luong (reformed opera), organised by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, is expected to attract young audiences back to the theatre this year.
Two artists from HCM City’s cải lương (reformed opera) theatres are competing for 2019’s Best Theatre Actress at the Mai Vàng (Golden Apricot) Awards, an annual event launched by Người Lao Động (Labourer) newspaper.