Vietnamese-American artist returns home for cai luong show

Vietnamese-American Ngoc Huyen, a leading cai luong (reformed opera) performer in the 1990s, will stage a live show in HCM City next week.

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With her first live show in HCM City after 15 years in the US, Vietnamese-American Ngoc Huyen (Right) will treat theatre lovers to traditional cai luong songs.

Thousand Love at the We Lounge will be her first live show in the city after 15 years of living in the US. 

 ”I’ll sing original traditional tunes for theatre lovers,” said Huyen.

Huyen is hoping that the event, which will feature an orchestra of traditional instrument players, will please her fans.

“To make an impression, I need to offer productions with my own style,” the 48-year-old said.

Huyen will sing vong co songs, which are often used in cai luong plays, such as Flowers Bloom at Night and Traditional Shirt used by Southern Women. 

The highlight of the concert will be excerpts from cai luong plays that made Huyen famous for more than two decades.

“To prepare for my show, I’ve been practising my vocal and dance skills several hours a day,” said Huyen, adding that her love for cai luong, a southern theatrical art that originated in the Mekong River Delta in the early 20th century, is still fresh.   

Born in HCM City, Huyen began her career at a very early age. During her stage debut for the Thanh Nga Troupe in 1985, she wowed the audience with her voice, looks and performance.  

She later joined Huynh Long Troupe, one of the region’s leading tuong (classical drama) troupes, becoming one of its brightest stars.

In 1992, she performed pop songs in cai luong plays and left a very strong impression on young audiences.

In 2002, her first live show, Forever Dream, staged cai luong for three nights and attracted more than 5,000 people.

She has performed in many cai luong plays and videos and movies.

She has won dozens of top prizes at national traditional theatre festivals and contests, including the Tran Huu Trang Award and Mai Vàng (Golden Apricot) Award presented by HCM City Theatre Association and Labourer newspaper.

Her strong and melodic voice as well as commanding stage presence have helped Huyen leave an indelible mark on the art.

The show Thousand Loves will begin at 8pm on October 20 at We Lounge, 8 Le Quy Don Street, District 3. 


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