Cải Lương

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Hoi Nghe Si San Khau Viet Nam

Let yourself imagine you live sầu in the west of Vietphái nam which has immense rivers with large boats and an open và spacious landscape. Whether you are spending a quiet night in or enjoying a hot summer day, you become aware of a melody coming from far away.

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Who is it singing? Maybe a farm worker with a clear but sad voice or perhaps an old man with a deep và mournful one too. You impulsively feel yourself becoming filled with sorrow and tears. That is the in-your-head experience about Vietnam’s traditional music — cải lương, which I can bring alive sầu for you as best as I can.

Cải lương (roughly translated means “reformed theater”) is a form of modern folk opera in Vietnam giới. It blends Southern Vietnamese folk songs, classical music, hát tuồng (a classical theater size based on Chinese opera) with modern spoken drama.

That’s all I know about cải lương. I’m not expert enough to lớn speak in depth about cải lương’s origin or key features. I’m still too young and lacking experience about life khổng lồ underst& cải lương fully, as many people always say. But does that matter?


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A cải lương performance (Credit to: Tuoi Tre)

I first heard about cải lương when I was a child thanks to my grandmother & the radio. To me, there is only one emotion lớn describe it: sadness, more sadness và extreme sadness. It’s strange that such a young mind could have sầu that feeling. I have sầu no idea why nearly all cải lương songs I’ve sầu known tell an unhappy story: a man betrays his girlfrikết thúc in the country to chase a luxury life in the thành phố, which makes the girl desperate & decide lớn take holy orders (Lan and Diep song); a young wife cries for her husbvà, who was a soldier who died in battle & he can only communicate with her in form of a ghost or in her dreams (Vo Dong So — Bach Thu Ha song).


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Cải lương artist (Source: Youtube)

Even if you have an extremely beautiful voice & can sing a wide range of music genre, such as blues, dance, country or even folk and classical, but cải lương? I’m afraid you can’t. It’s very difficult to lớn perform a cải lương tuy vậy, which can touch an audience’s heart.

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The singer must be able to take very very long breaths to lớn sing a verse non-stop in about 30 seconds or more. If they participate in a “who can hold their breath the longest ?” competition, I’m dead sure they would win. Becoming a cải lương singer is much harder than becoming an opera singer, I think.

The experience I told you about in the beginning is cải lương in the countryside và you can listen khổng lồ cải lương on stage at Tran Huu Trang cải lương theater (136 Tran Hung Dao Street, Pmê man Ngu Lao Ward, District 1, HCMC).

Maybe you won’t understvà the meaning or lyrics of a cải lương song but you will have the chance to enjoy the special artistic atmosphere, the sweet melodies & the singers’ costumes, which are quality, colorful and sometimes seemingly royal. And I hope when you hear cai luong songs you can feel the sadness just as I did.

Here are several cải lương songs you can listen khổng lồ in order lớn have an introduction to lớn some Vietnamese traditional music: http://bit.ly/2LfgEZp

Proofreader: Mr. Alex Curtis, Civil Servant UK

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