Illustrative Image (Source: VNA)

 

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has decided to facilitate regular drama, chamber music and traditional opera shows at the Hanoi Opera House beginning this autumn.

The move aims to provide audiences with high-quality performances in the historic Opera House right in downtown Hanoi.

It is also an answer to recent public complaints that the Opera House has hosted too few high-quality shows.

Starting in September, the Vietnam Symphony Orchestra, Vietnam Drama Theatre and Vietnam Cheo (Traditional Opera) Theater will take turns performing at the Opera House.

Artist Thanh Ngoan, Director of the Vietnam Cheo Theatre, said the theatre’s performance schedule will include award-winning plays at national theatre festivals. By 2017, the theatre will perform there every Saturday and Sunday.

The Vietnam Tuong (Traditional Drama) Theatre will launch performances on October 30 and November 2, while the Vietnam Cai Lương (Reformed Opera) Theatre will start performing in October.

"The Opera House is a golden venue with a good location and magnificent architecture," said Pham Ngoc Tua n, D irector of the Vietnam Tuong Theatre. "The ministry’s decision gives us motivation to practise to give the best performance."

"If it weren’t for the minister’s decision, traditional drama artists like us would not have dared to dream for a show at the Opera House, as the rental fee is too high," he said.

Located just a few metres away from the Opera House, artists from the Vietnam Drama Theatre have no proper stage of their own.

Their own stage has been transformed into a small rehearsal hall at the theatre’s headquarters, 1 Tr a ng Ti e n Street. Most of the time, artists perform at the nearby C o ng Nh a n Theatre at 42 Tr a ng Ti e n Street.

“We cannot afford to pay the rental fee of 30-40 million VN D (1,300-1,800 USD ) per nightly show,” said Nguy e n Th e Minh, D irector of the Vietnam Drama Theatre. “Our ticket income will never be enough to make ends meet if we rent the Opera House. That’s why we rarely perform there.”

According to artist Ki e u Ng a n, D eputy D irector of the Vietnam Symphony and Opera Theatre, opera houses in other countries are venues for top performing artists and are always the pride of their citizens.

“Our Opera House, in contrast, has rarely hosted such shows for the public, or only hosted invited-only shows in the past few years,” she said.

Artist Pham Anh Phuong, director of the same theatre, said the ministry’s plan is a good one.

“It’s an effective way to transmit artistic messages to audiences,” he said, “We don’t want to perform one or two nights, but several shows per month.”

While organisers of traditional performing arts have found it difficult to sign contracts that cover rental at the Opera House, various pop singers from overseas have been able to perform there in recent years because they can sell tickets at high prices.

“If tickets to traditional arts shows are charged at higher prices in order to cover the venue rental, no one would come see them,” said Tu a n, D irector of the Vietnam Tu o ng Theatre.

The ministry has assigned the Performing Arts Department to work with 12 theatres managed by the ministry to draft performing schedules through the end of the year.

The Opera House was completed by the French in 1911 with an aim of bringing classical performing arts to both well-to-do Vietnamese and French people.-VNA