Thursday, 21/03/2019 09:57

Veteran artist’s cải lương troupe opens

Veteran artist Vu Luan and his young actors perform historical plays. — Photo courtesy of the producer
Viet Nam News

By Thu Anh

HCM CITY — The new and privately owned Cai Luong (reformed opera) Vu Luan Troupe, composed of 20 young actors, has opened in HCM City. 

Managed by veteran actor Vu Luan, who has more than 30 years of experience in the industry, the troupe offers shows aimed at young people. 

The troupe’s actors are mostly students from art schools in the city and neighbouring provinces.

“I want to bring the art closer to young audiences,” said the 47-year-old.  

In coming weeks, the troupe will offer historical plays that highlight national heroes. Productions featuring the beauty of Vietnamese women will also be staged.

The artists will perform on a stage with sound and light effects at Hung Dao Theatre, one of the city’s prestigious cultural centres.  

Luan has invited cai luong stars, such as Tu Suong and Truong Son, to perform with his actors.

“Veteran artists will help young talents improve their vocal and performance skills in the hopes that they’ll develop a professional career and the troupe will become a place for people to enjoy the art in a unique way," said Luan. 

The troupe debuted last weekend with a series of excerpts from famous plays, such as To Anh Nguyet (Ms To Anh Nguyet) and Thien Than Ao Trang (Angel in White Blouse), featuring historical events.

The show attracted more than 300 people, many of them students from the HCM City Theatre and Cinematography University and HCM City University of Culture.

The troupe will offer performances for VND50,000 (US$2) a ticket to serve students and low-income people, Luan said. “We hope our performance will lure youngsters away from online games,” he said. 


Born to a poor family in HCM City, Luan began his love for cai luong when he was a child. His first lessons came from Ut Tron, a veteran artist who offered courses at his home to discover new talents.

Later, he improved his skills under the instruction of Bach Long, owner of the Dong Au Troupe which consisted of teenage artists.

Unlike his colleagues, Luan believes that his appearance gave him “no chance to become the star I wanted to be".

"But my teachers told me that for a true artist, his or her beauty is nothing without performance skills."

In 2001, Luan worked for the Tran Huu Trang Cai Luong Theatre, one of the country’s leading cai luong troupes.

Two years later, his first live show, titled Duong Toi Tuong Lai (Reaching to the Future), offered extravagant performances staged by nearly 200 artists, dancers, musicians and stuntmen. The show attracted nearly 1,000 visitors

In 2007, he won a gold medal at the 2007 National Competition for Cai Luong Young Talents, organised annually by the HCM City Theatre Association. He spent 20 years before taking home his first national prize.

Luan’s troupe is offering performances every Saturday at 8pm at 136 Tran Hung Dao Street in District 1. — VNS





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