A new cai luong (reformed opera) troupe has been getting children and youth interested in the art through special performances at HCM City's Tan Binh Children's House.
Actors of the Anh Duong-Bach Long Troupe play Tieu Anh Hung Nam Quoc (Vietnamese Young Hero), featuring Tran Quoc Toan of the Tran Dynasty. The play was performed on Children's Day, June 1, Photo: VNA
The Anh Duong-Bach Long Troupe, owned by veteran actor Bach Long and his partner Nhat Quang, a businessman with experience in the industry, are staging plays modified specially to serve children and young people.
Bach Long, who has taught many cai luong stars including Que Tran, Vu Luan and Tu Suong, said: "Whenever I perform cai luong, I see kids excited about the art."
"A cai luong troupe of young performers that will stage plays mainly for young audiences has been my wish for many years.
"Through our troupe, we want to develop the art of cai luong among young people, particularly children, who can learn many valuable things about the country, history, culture and traditional lifestyles through our shows."
Although Long and his staff know that they are going to face a lot of challenges on the way, they believe in the future.
The troupe opened on the Children's Day, June 1, with a special play for children – Tieu Anh Hung Nam Quoc (Vietnamese Young Hero), featuring Tran Quoc Toan of the Tran Dynasty.
Written and directed by Long, the play is staged every Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
In the coming weeks, the troupe will present Cau Vong Va Dan Tho (The Rainbow and A Herd of Rabbits) and Coc Kien Troi (A Toad Complains to God) with young actors like Chan Cuong and Binh Tinh, who have been trained by Bach Long.
"The love of Bach Long for cai luong gave me the motivation to develop my own career as a professional performer," said Cuong, who has studied cai luong but is better known for his roles in movies.
Cuong refused attractive invitations from movie companies to join the Bach Long-Anh Duong Troupe because "Cai luong is like a river that runs in my blood. It is my root and I always want to return to the art."
Long began his affair with cai luong when he was 12 years old. He was trained by his father, the late People's Artist Thanh Ton, and other talented actors like Minh To and Thanh Tong.
He won two gold medals for Best Actor at the National Cai Luong Festival in 1982 and 1987.
In 1990, he opened the Dong Au Bach Long Troupe which offered cai luong training for children. He closed it in 2000, unable to sustain the business in the new market environment.
The Bach Long-Anh Duong Troupe is headquarted at 198 Au Co Street, Tan Binh District.
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