HCM CITY Twenty-eight contestants participating in the national traditional music contest, Chuong Vang Vọng Cổ (Golden Bell) 2021, have performed online in the semi-final round in HCM City recently.
Each candidate performed two vọng cổ (nostalgic tunes) songs and one extract from a cải lương (reformed opera) play in the studio before a jury composed of celebrated artists Phượng Loan, Le Tu and Hữu Quốc.
Works in praise of the country and patriotism were encouraged by the organiser.
Their performances will air every Sunday, starting on August 22, on Hồ Chí Minh City Television’s HTV9 channel to millions of viewers around the country.
“We organised our contest online for the first time as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase,” Meritorious Artist Loan, a member of the jury, said.
“The organiser, Hồ Chí Minh City Television, invited a group of cải lương stars such as People’s Artist Bạch Tuyết and People’s Artist Minh Vương to offer online training for 28 semi-final contestants.”
“We hope audiences will support our candidates during the contest,” she said.
Female contestant Huỳnh Kim Thơ of Bình Dương Province performed vong cổ songs about southern women on the first day of semi-final round on August 10.
Her voice impressed the judges.
“I loved cải lương when I were a child. The art has improved my soul and spirit,” said 18-year-old Thơ, the youngest contestant.
“I hope I will be one of the contest’s ten finalists.”
The Golden Bell contest began in 2006 and has discovered and encouraged new talents in theatre. It encourages young people to learn about cải lương, the south’s most popular theatre form.
Many Golden Bell winners have become professional artists working for leading traditional art troupes in the region.
This year, the contest attracted 170 contestants who recorded and sent their clips to the organiser in July, instead of singing live as in previous events.
The jury will choose 10 finalists to compete in the final round, which is scheduled to begin in October.
Viewers will vote for the winners of the Golden Bell first prize of VNĐ100 million (US$4,300) in cash, and the Silver Bell worth VNĐ50 million ($2,150).
The Favourite Performer and Youngest Talent prizes will also be given. VNS
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