Fans morn passing of famous cai luong artist

Minh Phung (R) is on the stage. (Photo: SGGP)

Minh Phung, a famous cai luong artist, died yesterday at Cho Ray hospital. Minh Phung, real name Ngo Van Thieu, came from My Tho, a city west of Ho Chi Minh City. He fell in love with vong co and cai luong (Vietnamese folk opera) and decided to follow his heart to become a performer. He was one of three famous Vietnamese folk singers and actors. Alongside Minh Vuong and Minh Canh, Minh Phung became famous in the 1960s and 70s. Having a beautiful singing voice and handsome looks Minh Phung had tremendous success in his early career. Regardless of which troupe he was with, Minh Phung was welcomed with open arms. His attractive looks and captivating voice quickly began to be noticed by audiences and troupe owners alike. The Kim Chung Company invited him to join them and gave him leading roles, acting alongside famous actresses such as Ut Bach Lan in the play 'Trinh Tiet Mot Loai Hoa'. He also performed with My Chau in 'Bich Van Cung Le Su', Dieu Hien in many Chinese-adaptations, … [Read more...]

Cai Luong Impressario Passes Away

Actress Kim Chung

Actress Kim Chung, an impresario of cai luong folk theater, passed away on April 8 in Ho Chi Minh City at the age of 85 after a long illness. The Kim Chung cai luong troupe was famous in the 1950s and 1970s. Cai luong, or "renovated opera," is a genre of Vietnamese folk theater. Born in 1932 in Ha Noi, the actress was introduced to cai luong when she joined a children's music troupe called Nhat Tan at the age of 10. Later, she acted for the To Nu troupe and caught the attention of audiences by accepting leading roles after acting for only six years . She established the Kim Chung Company with seven other players in Ho Chi Minh City in 1945. The company performed in cities all over South Viet Nam and was home to such players such as Minh Vuong, Le Thuy, Dieu Hien, Thanh Nguyet, Tan Tai, and Phuong Lien. … [Read more...]

Renewing cai luong (Vietnamese folk opera)

As part of an art project launched by the local Ho Chi Minh City Television to renew and revive cai luong (a modern folk opera indigenous to south Vietnam), the famous ancient play Ben cau det lua will be performed on October 7 at the HCMC Opera House. Cai luong artists Thanh Ngan (L) and Trong Phuc will perform in Ben cau det lua on October 7 at Ho Chi Minh City Opera House. The play, Ben cau det lua (literally 'Silk weaving by the bridge'), written by the late playwright The Chau and first performed in the 1970s, depicts a constant, loyal love between two people who are separated by social positions during the feudal period. Tran Minh is a diligent, outstanding student, who is engaged to Quynh Nga, the daughter of a chief district. However, the engagement was canceled by Nga's family right after Minh's fall into poverty. Thanks to Nga's loyal love, Minh passes the national examination and becomes a high-ranking official in the palace court and is offered marriage with Princess Bich … [Read more...]

Foreigners get a taste of Cai luong

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Several foreign visitors to the Hanoi Cai Luong Theater wore head sets the other night to watch the company's first ever cai luong opera translated into English, at Chuong Vang Theater on August 13. According to theater director Tran Quang Hung, the opera, Menh de vuong (King's Fate), was an effort to gauge foreign audiences' interest in cai luong, a form of traditional Vietnamese folk opera which has its roots in the Mekong Delta. … [Read more...]

Unique orchestral instruments from coconut timber

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Le Van, a musician and craftsman, and his close friend Vo Van Ba, 69, also a craftsman in Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta, have been so busy these days. Both are trying to make and perfect orchestral instruments from coconut timber for the upcoming traditional music performance in April. Ba (right) and Van are playing with two orchestral instruments that are made of coconut timberPhoto: Tuoi Tre Their plan has received strong support from the provincial department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, and if all goes well, a unique traditional music concert using all coconut timber instruments will be organized on April 30 in Ben Tre to celebrate the country's unification day. Coconut timber instruments Coconut tree, the native plant of Ben Tre that gives it a distinct culture, is the main material in many modern industries, such as coconut pulp, coconut shell charcoal and coir, as well as coconut timber, a hardwood-substitute from coconut palm … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 30/8

The nonverbal language of cinematography Vietnamese film director Viet Linh, famous for many award-winning films, had a friendly meeting Friday with Ho Chi Minh City movie buffs and press at Hoa Sen University at 93 Cao Thang, District 3. At the event titled "The language of cinematography," the director said she wished to share her knowledge of how to enjoy a movie through its expressive language with the participants. The meeting opened with the screening of Cannes 2001 winner, "The son's room," an Italian movie. … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 18/8

Tradition of pack-horse races in northeast Vietnam Bac Ha District in the mountain province of Lao Cai in northeastern Vietnam is famous for its specialty food as well as its tradition of racing pack-horses. Participants in the horse-racing are the local farmers. Although they aren't professional horsemen, they are experienced in the art and select good horses and care for them as they prepare for the races. Thao Seo Lenh, who has participated four times, said that any rider expecting to enter the races needs to choose the right horse that is good in both tilling and as a pack-horse. … [Read more...]

Cai luong male artiste to perform with all female cast

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The 'Meritorious Artist' Vu Linh is in a hurry to complete final preparations for his show 'Nhat long - luc phung' ('One dragon-Six phoenixes') at Hung Dao Theatre, district 5, February 20. He is performing together with six female colleagues. The 'Meritorious Artist' Vu Linh (Photo: Tuoi Tre Newspaper) The idea came to Vu Linh when he thought of a show in which he can meet and perform together with all his female colleagues. The idea became came into fruition after he received word from overseas colleagues that they will come back for his show. The actresses are Thanh Thanh Tam, Phuong Hong Thuy, Thoai My, Thanh Ngan, Trinh Trinh, and Tu Suong. Several extracts from the popular 'cai luong' (modern Vietnamese folk opera) plays will be performed: 'Giu ao bui doi' ('Turn back to good life'); 'Lan va Diep' ('The love story of Lan and Diep'); 'Tuong cuop Bach Hai Duong' ('The uncatchable thief'); 'Luu Kim Dinh' ('Female General Luu Kim Dinh'); and 'Tinh su Duong Quy Phi' (Love story … [Read more...]

Preview concerts to heat up Mai Vang Awards 2008

Phuong Thanh rocks the show at Linh Trung 1 Industrial Zone in city (Photo: Nguoi Lao Dong Newspaper)

Before rocking the stage of Hoa Binh Theatre in Ho Chi Minh City on January 18, the Mai Vang (Golden Apricot) Awards 2008 has held a series of preview concerts. The annual Mai Vang Award 2008 will stage four preview concerts for university students and three shows for workers, from this month, at venues throughout Vietnam. Artists who have confirmed their appearance in the preview shows include singers Dam Vinh Hung, Quang Dung, Dan Truong, Phuong Thanh, Ho Quynh Huong, Ho Ngoc Ha, Cam Ly, Lam Truong and Duc Tuan, as well as "cai luong" (a form of modern Vietnamese folk opera) artists Thoai My, Kim Tu Long, Tu Suong and comedians Hoang Son, Cat Phuong and Minh Nhi. The first two preview concerts at the HCMC University of Technical Education in Thu Duc district on November 7 and at the Can Tho University in Can Tho city on November 14, were judged a roaring success. The final two curtain-raising shows for students will be held at the Ha Noi National University of Education on … [Read more...]

Life is not a bed of roses

Third grader Nam helps his mother sell lucky money envelops, given during Tet, or the Lunar New Year festival. "It’s not heavy, I’m used to it," Nam responded when asked if the tray containing the envelops is heavy.

A photographer has provided Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper with his pictures capturing a number of disadvantaged Vietnamese students, or former students, who are trying their best to make ends meet in Hanoi. In the middle of the crowded street, a young girl who quit university in the first year for her family's financial problem is trying to control a big cart full of ceramic products, 83-year-old photographer Quang Phung said about one of his photos. She’s one of many other young people I have met, he added. Each of them has their own story which makes me upset and concerned. I was touched seeing how hard they had to work to earn a living and help their parents. "I keep wondering if they could overcome the obstacles of this life," he expressed. Below are some photos taken by Quang Phung: … [Read more...]

Life is not a bed of roses for some Vietnamese students (photos)

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A photographer has provided Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper with his pictures capturing a number of disadvantaged Vietnamese students, or former students, who are trying their best to make ends meet in Hanoi. "In the middle of the crowded street, a young girl who quit university in the first year [for her family's financial problem] is trying to control a big cart full of ceramic products," 83-year-old photographer Quang Phung said about one of his photos. "She’s one of many other young people I have met," he added. "Each of them has their own story which makes me upset and concerned. I was touched seeing how hard they had to work to earn a living and help their parents." "I keep wondering if they could overcome the obstacles of this life," he expressed. Below are some photos taken by Quang Phung: Third grader Nam helps his mother sell lucky money envelops, given during Tet, or the Lunar New Year festival. "It’s not heavy, I’m used to it," Nam responded when … [Read more...]

When the rich “buy” Tet

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VietNamNet Bridge – They have a lot of money but do not have time to prepare the feast for their ancestors and for the Kitchen Gods, so they hire others to do it. On the morning of February 11, the Day of the Kitchen God, the family of Ngo Van Ba in the village of Dich Vong Hau, Cau Giay District, Hanoi, was very busy cooking steamed sticky rice, boiling chicken and other dishes for customers. Ba said he had orders from 20 customers so his family members had to get up at 2am to prepare the feast. Each meal is priced from VND1-3 million ($50-$150). He had to hire a total of 60 workers. Reporters followed Ba’s workers to transport the feast for a family living in the luxury apartment building of Chelsea Park in Yen Hoa, Cau Giay, the reporter was surprised to see only a maid and a shaman there. According to the man, the house owners were on an overseas business trip, so she was assigned to take care of the Kitchen God rituals. "Buying" Tet for kids This is the … [Read more...]

Milk prices stable after price limit takes effect

HA NOI (VNS) - Milk prices have stabilised after the Finance Ministry applied a ceiling price in June on milk products consumed by children under six in the domestic market. The ceiling on prices came after a long period of irregular prices being applied on milk products. The ministry would promote further price stabilisation in the near future. In June, there were 25 milk product lines on which the ceiling price was applied. However, many enterprises have changed the commercial name of their milk products and are selling them as nutrition or supplementary foods, the ministry said. … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 7/3

Three people died yesterday after a crane they were on, hit a commune culture house's gate that fell on a vehicle in the central province of Nghe An's Yen Thanh District.

Crane hits cement gate, three die The accident took place after a local, Dinh Quang Nang, forgot to lower the crane, which later crashed on the gate. Witnesses recalled that the brick-and-cement gate, which weighed around 8 to 10 tonnes, fell on the crane, deforming it and killing Nang, his son, and an other man. The local authority has supported the deceased's families by holding memorial services. The case is under investigation. Forest fires engulf Hoang Lien National Park Raging forest fires broke out in Na Hang area, away 3km from Seo My Ty hamlet, Ta Van commune, Sa Pa district in the northern Lao Cai province on March 5. The fires continued to spread into Seo My Ty hamlet on March 6 and swept through Hoang Lien National Park fueled by dry weather and strong winds. Local militiaman and relevant agencies in Sa Pa district are closely cooperating to battle the fires and contain them. Lao Cai province's People's Committee Chairman Doan Van Huong directed relevant … [Read more...]

Market hotting up on women’s day

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(VOV) -In the lead up to International Women's Day (March 8), retailers and boutiques across the nation are launching promotional discounts on a wide variety of gifts for women. Gift-giving marks International Women's Day (March 8) Men typically purchase beautiful flower arrangements and sentimental gifts for their beloved on this special day, while children most often find something special to give to their mothers and female teachers. Sales promotions launched In the final days prior to Women's Day, shops and vendors selling flowers and gifts are packed with men who put off shopping for gifts until the last minute, particularly in the capital Hanoi and Danang city. This year, most customers seem to have veered away from the more traditional fresh flowers and postcards in favour of more practical gifts like cosmetics, clothes and home appliances. Many shopping centres and supermarkets in Hanoi like Vincom, Trang Tien Plaza, Big C, Metro, and CoopMart, are … [Read more...]

Prices of some products rise before Tet

Dong Nghi According to many beer sellers in HCMC, the prices of some beer products have gone up by VND10,000-20,000 per carton to VND380,000-385,000 for Heineken beer, VND290,000-295,000 for Tiger and VND295,000-300,000 for Saigon Special. The owner of a big grocery store on Tran Xuan Soan Street in HCMC's District 7 said that beer prices normally rose in the lead to the Lunar New Year holiday. As the supply is limited, beer agents are asking for higher prices, she added. Meanwhile, Vietnam Brewery Limited, producer of Heineken and Tiger beer, said at a working session with the HCMC Department of Industry and Trade that it had increased the beer supply for the coming holiday by 20% and that there is no signs of short supply. However, the firm cannot control the retail price of beer on the market. Another commodity with fluctuating price over the past time is beef. At many markets in HCMC, the beef price has increased by 3-7% in the past two weeks. A trader at Tan Thuan Market … [Read more...]

Illegal medicines danger to health

HCM CITY (VNS)— Nguyen Minh Tam (not real name) of District 7 gained weight and began to develop stretch marks all over her body after taking a traditional medicine dose for acute sinusitis without a doctor's prescription. Tam has suffered from sinusitis for years because of contact with dust in her daily work. After hearing a friend's advice, she brought a package of traditional medicine tablets without a label of origin, but the sinusitis actually became worse. Like Tam, many people in HCM City try to treat their acute sinusitis through traditional medicines that are sold without labels of origin. Signs advertising the medicines can be seen at small groceries on Tran Xuan Soan Street in District 7 and on Ho Ba Phan Street in District 9, as well as some other districts. Online sites such as Kenh Sinh Vien and MUABANYDUOC.vn also advertise these medicines. Tran Van Nam, deputy head of the HCM City Traditional Medicine Institute, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that his institute … [Read more...]

In pictures: Highest tide in Saigon in 61 years

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VietNamNet Bridge - The tide in the evening of October 21 at Phu An station on Saigon River reached 1.68 meters, exceeding last year's historic peak of 6 cm, making severe floods in HCM City. Tide is forecast to remain at 1.65 m this afternoon,. On the evening of October 21, rising water in the Saigon River combined with heavy rain caused floods and traffic disturbances in many roads in HCM City. In the lower areas, water spilled over into houses, disturbing the lives of people. Many families had to use sandbags to prevent water and scoop water out. The roads of Nguyen Duy Trinh, Tran Nao (District 2), Xo Viet Nghe Tinh, Highway 13 (Binh Thanh District), Le Van Luong, Lam Van Ben, Mai Van Vinh, Tran Xuan Soan (District 7), Binh Dong (District 8), Phu Dinh Wharf (District 6) ... were submerged in a depth of 0.3 to 0.5 m. Earlier, according to forecasts of the Southern Region Meteorological Forecast Station, the highest tide in mid-October would be only 1.58 m (appearing at 18:30 on … [Read more...]