Residents living in the HCM City Rest Home for Artists in District 8 will have a happy Tet (Lunar New Year) after the house renovation is completed this month.
The Rest Home renovation began in September with funds, around VND1.5 billion (US$65,000), from a number of individuals and organisations. Photo courtesy of HCM City Theatre Association
The renovation began in September with funds of around VND1.5 billion (US$65,000) from individuals and organisations, including movie actor Ly Hung and theatre actress-producer Trinh Kim Chi of HCM City.
The home serves more than 20 traditional artists aged 70-80, including cai luong (reformed opera) and tuong (classical drama) stars like Dieu Hien, Ngoc Dang and Le Tham, who performed for more than 50 years and played a role in theatre development.
Free food, treatment and health care, and even funeral services, are all offered to the residents. The home receives financial support from local authorities.
“My father, late movie star and producer Ly Huynh, often visited his colleagues at the home every Tet when he was alive,” said actor Hung, who has been in the movie industry the for 20 years.
“We will work together to expand the home and offer artists residing here better living conditions.”
More than 200 poor artists have signed up to live in the home, but it is currently at full capacity.
|Veteran and young artists often visit the HCM City Rest Home for Artists on national holidays to perform and raise funds for the home. Photo courtesy of HCM City Theatre Association|
HCM City Rest Home for Artists opened in 1998 and was first upgraded in 2006 thanks to the city’s Theatre Association in co-operation with the Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs.
The home, located on 600sq.m of land in District 8’s Au Duong Lan Street, was founded by the late People’s Artist Phung Ha, a star of cai luong (reformed opera) theatre.
Founder Ha, known as Miss Bay, began her career in 1923 in My Tho Province, the cradle of cai luong art. By the 1950s, she was at the peak of her artistry and fame. She died in 2009.
She trained theatre stars, including the late actress Thanh Nga and People’s Artist Bach Tuyet and Kim Cuong who won top prizes at national competitions and festivals.
Like many of her peers, Ha devoted her energies to the stage, and did not marry or have children. She spent her savings to build the Rest Home for Artists and the Artists’ Pagoda in 1958 in Go Vap District, which also has a cemetery for traditional artists.
The pagoda serves as a place of rest for nearly 1,000 theatre performers.
Many veteran and young artists will visit the home and pagoda before and during Tet holiday in February to perform and raise funds for the home and pagoda. VNS
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