Online contest features cai luong talents hinh anh 1Songs and plays in praise of the country were featured in the recent semi-final round for Chuong Vang Vong Co (Golden Bell), the national traditional music contest for cải lương artists launched by HCM City Television. (Photo courtesy of the organiser)

HCM City (VNS/VNA) -  Twenty-eight contestants participating in the national traditional music contest, Chuong Vang Vong Co (Golden Bell) 2021, have performed online in the semi-final round in HCM City recently. 

Each candidate performed two vong co (nostalgic tunes) songs and one extract from a cai luong (reformed opera) play in the studio before a jury composed of celebrated artists Phuong Loan, Le Tu and Huu Quoc. 

Works in praise of the country and patriotism were encouraged by the organiser.  

Their performances will air every Sunday, starting on August 22, on Ho Chi Minh City Television’s HTV9 channel to millions of viewers around the country.

“We organised our contest online for the first time as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase,” Meritorious Artist Loan, a member of the jury, said.

“The organiser, Ho Chi Minh City Television, invited a group of cai luong stars such as People’s Artist Bach Tuyet and People’s Artist Minh Vuong to offer online training for 28 semi-final contestants.”

"We hope audiences will support our candidates during the contest,” she said.

Female contestant Huynh Kim Tho of Binh Duong province performed vong co songs about southern women on the first day of semi-final round on August 10.

Her voice impressed the judges.

“I loved cai luong when I were a child. The art has improved my soul and spirit,” said 18-year-old Tho, the youngest contestant. 

“I hope I will be one of the contest’s ten finalists.” 

The Golden Bell contest began in 2006 and has discovered and encouraged new talents in theatre. It encourages young people to learn about cai luong, the south’s most popular theatre form.  

Many Golden Bell winners have become professional artists working for leading traditional art troupes in the region.

This year, the contest attracted 170 contestants who recorded and sent their clips to the organiser in July, instead of singing live as in previous events.

The jury will choose 10 finalists to compete in the final round, which is scheduled to begin in October.

Viewers will vote for the winners of the Golden Bell first prize of 100 million VND (4,300 USD) in cash, and the Silver Bell worth 50 million VND (2,150 USD).

The Favourite Performer and Youngest Talent prizes will also be given./.