Online theatre helps performing arts come closer to audiences amidst COVID-19 hinh anh 1“Tuong” art will be presented on television channels (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - Complicated developments of the COVID-19 pandemic have halted art performances, causing difficulties for artists and units, online theatre or online stage seem to be the most suitable way for performing arts to reach the audiences.

The Vietnam Tuong Theatre in Hanoi and the Viet Bac Folk Music and Dance Theatre of Thai Nguyen province are the first units selected to implement a project on television theatre programme and online theatre.

The performing arts is one of the sectors hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. The closure of theatres makes the life difficult for artists, and causes a shortage of "spiritual dishes" for the audiences.

Amid difficulties, artists and culture managers are trying to keep audiences entertained.

Since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has planned to organise art events virtually. This project has been launched officially.

A “tuong” (a form of Vietnamese classical opera) show by artists of the Vietnam Tuong Theatre will be presented on VTV1 channel of Vietnam Television, while an art programme titled “Nhung ngoi sao bat tu” (The immortal stars) by artists of the Viet Bac Folk Music and Dance Theatre will be broadcast live on VTV2 channel on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of Invalids and Martyrs Day (July 27).

Artists excited to join the project

Directed by People’s Artist Hoang Quynh Mai, the “tuong” play entitled Trung Than (A Loyal Court Servant) won a silver medal at the National Festival of Classic Opera, Drama and Folk Music 2019.

It is about General Le Van Duyet (1763-1832), a loyal servant of the Nguyen Dynasty who made great contributions to the country. A brilliant politician and military strategist, Duyet helped Nguyen Anh [the future founding emperor of the Nguyen Dynasty] to take down the Tay Son troops, unify the country and establish the Nguyen Dynasty. After Nguyen Anh came to power as Emperor Gia Long in 1802, Duyet became a high-ranking mandarin, serving the two first Nguyen emperors Gia Long (1802-1819) and Minh Mang (1820-1840).

The play features the most outstanding tuong artist including Manh Linh (as General Le Van Duyet), Loc Huyen (as Mrs Phan, wife of Le Van Duyet), and Tuan Hiep (as Emperor Minh Mang).

Meritorious artist Le Khanh Toan, Acting Director of the Viet Bac Folk Music and Dance Theatre, said “Nhung ngoi sao bat tu” honours heroic Vietnamese mothers, martyrs and wounded soldiers for their great sacrifices and contributions to national independence and reunification.

Online theatre helps performing arts come closer to audiences amidst COVID-19 hinh anh 2An art performance programme by artists of the Viet Bac Folk Music and Dance Theatre in 2020 (Photo: VNA)

Managers and artists of the two theatres are extremely excited to be selected to join this project.

“Although the show will be presented without an offline audience, everyone is very happy to be under the spotlight to sing and to live with our passion," actress Loc Huyen said.

She also expressed her belief that the television theatre programme will help to maintain the audience’s habit of enjoying performing arts, and also help to bring them back to the theatres once the pandemic is under control.

4.0 solution for the stage

Heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the theatres and stages have been operating without any revenue. The theatres’ management boards have struggled to cover essential expenditure, and at the same time to find new solutions for their artists to perform.

In order to ensure COVID-19 prevention measures, the Department of Performing Arts has created the Youtube channel “Nghe thuat bieu dien Viet Nam” (Vietnamese Performing Art) and a Facebook Fanpage to introduce a number of stage productions that were presented in national competitions and art festivals in 2020.

Online theatre helps performing arts come closer to audiences amidst COVID-19 hinh anh 3Vice Director of the Department of Performing Arts Tran Huong Duong (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Tran Huong Duong, Vice Director of the Department of Performing Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Tourism affirmed that both the television theatre programme and ‘online theatre’ are essential to bringing professional art closer to the audiences, especially in the pandemic.

These forms can help both artists and audiences get all up-to-date information about professional art competitions and festivals, he said.

At the same time, it is also a movement that shows connection among artists who want to bring arts to the public in the fight against COVID-19, he added./.