Bells ring across VN for holy night

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As chilly gusts of wind overwhelm the north of the country, people are preparing for the festive season. Lights appear on fake pine trees at offices, hotels and restaurants while Christmas melodies fill the air at cafes on every street corner. The largest-ever Christmas festive nights at Hanoi's West Lake Waterpark on December 23 and 24 promise to host up to 40,000 people. The night will contain various "surprising factors", according to the waterpark and Heartlink JSC, which co-organised the event. Images of a white park and snowy road will be displayed and family members can try out Christmas-themed games, in addition to hitting the dance floor with hundreds of male and female Santas. A photo contest titled "Impressive Noel Moments" will select the Top 10 Christmas Beauties, Top 10 Christmas Moments and Top 10 Christmas Faces. In HCM City, cultural houses around the city have prepared a dazzling array of plays, concerts, art exhibitions, fashion shows, circuses and puppet … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News Headlines 15/5

Photos depicting Trevi Fountain in Rome (above) and part of the Duomo Cathedral in Milan are among the photos displayed at the Nocturnal Memory. Milan and Rome exhibition in Casa Italia. — Photos courtesy of Paolo Belletti

Italian nights lend inspiration to city photographer A photo exhibition that has opened in Ha Noi offers an opportunity for visitors to discover the night scene in Milan and Rome. … [Read more...]

Social News Headlines 6/5

Black bean beetles torment Dong Nai Black bean beetles have overtaken households in Xuan Thanh Commune in the southern province of Dong Nai Province and seriously disrupted the lives of hundreds of local people, the Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reports. Residents have been trying a variety of methods to eradicate them, but none of them have proved effective, including insecticides. Vo Thi Tuyet, a resident in Xuan Thanh Commune, said that thousands of beetles were flying into her house each day, forming dark streams … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 8/3

Sales make Women's Day special Shops, supermarkets and even amusement parks in HCM City have announced promotions to mark International Women's Day, which falls next Friday. The Co.op Mart supermarket is offering discounts of up to 45 per cent on more than 4,000 products such as garments, beauty care products and household appliances. HTV Co.op, its television shopping channel that airs on HCM City Television will slash prices on certain items by up to 37 per cent until March 31. The channel will present vouchers worth VND50,000 for every order on Women's Day. French supermarket chain Big C is offering discounts of between 5 and 50 per cent on 2,000 cosmetic and fashion products until April 1 under its Ton vinh ve dep Viet ('to honour Vietnamese beauty') programme. Female customers will be offered free consultancy on skin and body care. Big C is also offering discounts of up to 50 per cent on 800 essential goods such as household items, food and confectionery until April … [Read more...]

Overseas Vietnamese directors and their homecomings

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Several Viet Kieu (overseas Vietnamese) directors have returned to Vietnam to make films over recent years. Their homecomings, whether successful or not, breathe freshness and novelty to the country's local film industry. Unlike those who founded the Viet Kieu film sector, today's batch of Vietnamese-origin directors, most of who come from the US, where they have had some experience with Hollywood, integrate better as they target local audiences rather than merely to screen films abroad. Charlie Nguyen, who was previously known as director of comic skits among overseas Vietnamese communities and a few films such as "Hung Vuong the 18th" and "Chances Are" produced in the US, made his directing debut in his home country with "Dong mau anh hung" (The Rebel) in 2006. The film, which won notable critical acclaim and breathed novelty into the local insipid film industry back then, took Nguyen more than 10 years to write the script and two years to travel throughout the country for … [Read more...]

First News gives books to prison inmates

Ca tru artists offer free weekly shows Anyone who loves ca tru (ceremonial singing) - one of the most preserved Vietnamese traditional art forms and a piece of world cultural heritage - will be delighted to learn that the Ha Noi Ca Tru Club is launching free weekly performances, starting this Saturday. Located at 34 Hoang Cau Street, the weekly show will take place from 8.30pm until 10pm. Famous traditional instrumentalists will be there, including Ngoc Anh (flute), Thu Ha (36-stringed zither), Thanh Nam (drum), Ba Hai (three-stringed day) and Bach Van (singer). The artists will perform both classic ca tru melodies and contemporary music on traditional instruments. Space is available on a first come first serve basis. However, please arrive early to reserve your seats. There is no need to book in advance. Photo adventure in Moc Chau Plateau Viet Nam in Focus - a photography tour company that aims to give travellers practical photography skills and experiences - will organise an … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 24/5

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Duc Tuan to perform at Da Nang theatre Pop singer Duc Tuan will perform at the central city's Trung Vuong Theatre tonight, according to event organiser Le Kha Luc. The live show will include 20 songs composed by late musician Pham Duy, and extracts from the Phantom of the Opera, Le temps de cathedrales (Notre-Dame de Paris), and Vietnamese love songs. Tonight will be his first live show in Da Nang. Tuan has put on successful shows in the past including Music of the Night in HCM City in 2009, and Paradiso in Ha Noi and HCM City in 2011. Harsh penalty for fashion show host, models The Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will apply the harshest penalty and ultimate sanctions on the Venus Company, who hosted a fashion show called 'Dem Hoi Chan Dai 7' (the Long-Legged Festival), said Vo Trong Nam, deputy head of the department. The fashion show sparked criticism from the public at the very start after the invitation was released on the Internet with pictures of … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT NEWS IN BRIEF

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Duc Tuan to perform at Da Nang theatre Pop singer Duc Tuan will perform at the central city's Trung Vuong Theatre tonight, according to event organiser Le Kha Luc. The live show will include 20 songs composed by late musician Pham Duy, and extracts from the Phantom of the Opera, Le temps de cathedrales (Notre-Dame de Paris), and Vietnamese love songs. Tonight will be his first live show in Da Nang. Tuan has put on successful shows in the past including Music of the Night in HCM City in 2009, and Paradiso in Ha Noi and HCM City in 2011. Singing competition open to overseas Vietnamese Viet Nam Television's Sao Mai (Morning Star) Singing Contest will widen to include Vietnamese living in eight European countries. Contestants will be classed in three music genres: folk, chamber music and pop. The first round will be carried out in northern, central and southern regions plus Europe to select 12 contestants for the final round in August. Three prizes will be granted for each genre … [Read more...]

Heavy rain, high tide floods several streets in HCMC

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On Tuesday afternoon, heavy rainfall and a surging high tide submerged several streets in Ho Chi Minh City and sent traffic into utter chaos in many districts. An Binh Street in District 5 was still flooded several hours after the rain abated on October 16 (Photo: SGGP) … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 25/2

Perenco upstages giants Independent oil and gas company Perenco has snapped up the Vietnam-based assets of ConocoPhillips, beating heavy-duty competitors including PetroVietnam and TNK-BP to the punch. US-backed ConocoPhillips announced that it had reached a billion-dollar plus agreement to offload its assets in Vietnam to Perenco, an oil and gas company with operations in 16 countries across the globe. In its statement, ConocoPhillips said the sale of assets in Vietnam was a part of ConocoPhillips's ongoing strategy to create shareholder value. The company said that the Vietnam business unit was sold at a total of $1.29 billion plus customary working capital adjustments. However, previously ConocoPhillips expected that those assets would have total valued at up to $1.5 billion. ConocoPhillips will now sell its three wholly-owned subsidiaries that separately hold a 23.25 per cent participating interest in Block 15-1, a 36 per cent participating interest in Block 15-2, and a … [Read more...]

ART & ENTERTAINMENT IN BRIEF 27/8

Revolution, Independence Day to be marked by music shows Several series of concerts featuring revolutionary and romantic music will begin in HCM City this week to mark the 66th anniversary of the August 1945 Revolution and Independence Day on September 2. One of them, Mau Co Thang 8 (Flag of August) will feature "red" songs like Tieng Goi Thanh Nien (Calling on the Youth) and Len Dang (Setting off) by composers Luu Huu Phuoc and Huynh Van Tieng, respectively. Singers Hoang Vinh Phuoc, The Vy, and Duy Linh will perform along with the 4 Tenor, Bel Canto, and Suc Song (Vitality) Club groups at the concert on Saturday at the HCM City Youth Culture House, Pham Ngoc Thach Street. Similar concerts will be held on the last Saturday of each month. … [Read more...]

Ho Chi Minh City’s 300-year History

The first settlers Ben Thanh market. In his book of literary works about the southern land in the 17th century when the first Vietnamese settlers arrived, Le Quy Don wrote: "From the Can Gio Estuary, the Soai Rap, Tieu (Small) and Dai (Grand) estuaries ... up (the rivers)", the land of Saigon remained deserted, covered by dense forests and marshes. A few groups of ethnic tribes such as the Khmer, the Stieng, and the Ma were dwelling sparsely on high ground. The Vietnamese settlers were migrants from the North and the Central provinces. The majority of them were poor peasants ruined by the war between feudal clans, others were soldiers and officers ordered by feudal governments to garrison in the South, and some were runaway convicts. They all crossed the sea in small boats and from the Can Gio Estuary they sailed up the Saigon River to land in the area of today's Saigon. The first migrants settled on high ground by the river to cultivate the land as the area had plenty of fresh water … [Read more...]

Frenchman goes native in Vietnam

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Menras André Marcel has an unusual name card. It carries the picture of a Vietnamese youth with a conical hat, but on closer inspection and enquiry, it turns out that the picture is of the Frenchman himself, taken during his first visit to the country in 1969 on a teaching assignment. It was taken at a fish market in the south central coastal city of Da Nang. "The picture always reminds me everyday of my responsibility to find out more ways to help poor children in Vietnam," he said. Forty years on, a milestone event took place in Marcel's life. The President of Vietnam stamped his approval on an application granting the Frenchman Vietnamese citizenship in recognition of his long-standing support for Vietnam's struggles and the work he has done to help the disadvantaged people in this country. Forty years on, he is still committed and willing to travel to remote areas of the country for any work that involves helping the poor. Known by his Vietnamese friends as André Quyet, the … [Read more...]

HCM City ballet stages free show

Illustrative image -- Photo vietnamplus.vn

VietNamNet Bridge – The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will this month stage the ballet Saga of a Romance for its free monthly show to educate the younger generation about music and dance. Performed tomorrow (Dec 10) at the city's Opera House, the ballet is one of the grandest and most successful Vietnamese ballets. … [Read more...]

Magic Flute to grace the stage

Classic opera: Mozart's The Magic Flute will be conducted by Magnus Loddgard of Norway this weekend at HCM City's Opera House. - Photo courtesy of HBSO

HCM CITY (VNS) - Mozart's classic opera The Magic Flute will be performed for the first time in HCM City this weekend by the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) under the baton of Norwegian conductor Magnus Loddgard. … [Read more...]

Art & Entertainment News 29/10

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Young bands to rock city show A dozen of young rock bands in town will perform at a Rock First Season: Halloween Season show comprising of Halloween-themed fun activities and shopping at Cargo Bar in HCMC from 11 a.m. to midnight tomorrow. The bands include NYN, Walking Toys, The Bugi, Another Think, and Feed The Bill who will excite the audience with numerous genres of rock like hardcore, hard rock, alternative, metalcore and pop punk. Guests will be able to take part in BMX cycling, skateboarding, bike show and graffiti, just a few to be named. The organizer - HCMC-based Dynamic Life Ltd. - expects to woo 1,000 guests to the rock event. In June this year, Dynamic Life cooperated with Rock Viet Scene for a Hardcore United rock show at 3A Station with an aim to help young musicians to show their talent and develop local rock music. Tickets of the event are priced at VND125,000 per person. The bar is located at 7 Nguyen Tat Thanh Street in District 4. Further information can be … [Read more...]

HCM City concert to feature two hit contemporary dances

HMC CITY (VNS)- The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera's free monthly programme to educate younger generations about music and dance, Giai Dieu Tre (Young Melodies), will this month feature two popular contemporary dances. One is Sai Gon Sau Giac Ngu (While Sai Gon is sleeping) by well-known choreographer Raymond Esterhuizen, which was performed by HBSO Ballet at the 2014 Korea Art Festival Busan. The other is Danh Mat va Tim Lai (Lost and Found) by young choreographers Nguyen Phuc Hai and Nguyen Phuc Hung. The dance about the joys and sorrows of love premiered last July. … [Read more...]

German musicians play in HCM City

Three German artists, violinist Hellen Weiss, cellist Gabriel Adriano Schwabe and conductor Alexander Merzyn will perform in a special concert held this Sunday at the HCM City Opera House by the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) in cooperation with the German Music Council and Conductors Forum. The concert will feature works by Beethoven and Brahms, conducted by Merzyn, who has been the music director of Kammerphilharmonie Hamburg since 2008. Weiss and Schwabe will perform Brahms's Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra in A Minor op. 102. … [Read more...]

German musicians play in City

HCM CITY (VNS) - Three German artists, violinist Hellen Weiss, cellist Gabriel Adriano Schwabe and conductor Alexander Merzyn will perform in a special concert held this Sunday at the HCM City Opera House by the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) in cooperation with the German Music Council and Conductors Forum. The concert will feature works by Beethoven and Brahms, conducted by Merzyn, who has been the music director of Kammerphilharmonie Hamburg since 2008. Weiss and Schwabe will perform Brahms's Double Concerto for violin, cello and orchestra in A Minor op. 102. … [Read more...]

Ballet Coppelia returns to Opera House

HCM CITY (VNS) - The classical ballet Coppelia choreographed by Johanne Jakhelln Constant of Norway will be restaged by the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) at HCM City's Opera House next Thursday after two successful premiere nights in August. "The dancers in the ballet were excellent... and the ballet attracted many young people who liked it due to its humour and drama," according to a press release from HBSO. Coppelia, considered one of the greatest comic ballets of the 19th century, has remained one of the best-loved classical works in the ballet repertory. … [Read more...]