A poster of the opera “Frédégonde”, which will be played at HCM City's Municipal Theatre on October 20 and 21 (Photo: tkbvn-tokyo.s3.amazonaws.com)

HCM City (VNA) – “Frédégonde”, an opera created by French composer Camille Saint-Saëns, will be played for the first time since it debuted in 1895, with Vietnam the venue for this historic performance.

French Consul General to Ho Chi Minh City Vincent Floreani said at a press conference on October 12 that the opera performance by the city’s Municipal Theatre on October 20 and 21 is an important cultural event for France and Vietnam.

“Frédégonde” is also the only French opera created in Vietnam, adding further to the significance of the decision to perform it in the country.

Tran Vuong Thach, Director of the HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO), said Camille Saint-Saëns visited Con Dao Island and Saigon (now HCM City) in 1895. 

Thach cited researcher Tim Doling as saying that while the French artist was in Con Dao, he completed the opera “Brunhilde”, which had been left unfinished by deceased composer Ernest Guiraud, and renamed it “Frédégonde”.

With the pre-Medieval period the background, the opera is about Frédégonde, who is a servant at first but then becomes a rich and powerful queen, leading to severe power conflicts.

Influenced by Asian culture in Con Dao, local identities can also been seen in the play through the use of traditional instruments like gongs and wooden clarinets.

The opera will be played by French and HBSO artists along with conductor Patrick Souillot and director Caroline Blanpied.-VNA