Play about legendary king to hit Hanoi Opera House hinh anh 1The play telling legendary birth of King Ly Cong Uan will hit the stage in Hanoi (Photo courtesy of Le Ngoc Theatre)

Hanoi (VNS/VNA) - A play about the legendary birth of King Ly Cong Uan (974-1028) who founded the Ly Dynasty and established the country’s capital in Thang Long (modern-day Hanoi) will hit the Hanoi Opera House on September 21-23.

Huyen Thoai Go Rong Ap (Legend of the Dragon’s Birthplace) aims to commemorate the 1,010th anniversary of Hanoi and raise people’s awareness of national history and the Ly Dynasty.  

Previews of the play on September 7-10 also at the Hanoi Opera House drew a total of 2,000 spectators.

PhD Nguyen The Ky wrote the script based on the legend of King Ly Cong Uan, then artists of the Le Ngoc Theatre adapted it for the stage to honour the founding emperor of the Ly Dynasty.

In the legend, the mother of the king is Pham Thi Nga from Co Phap village, the northern province of Bac Ninh. When pregnant, she was closely monitored by the rich family of Cu Hong Ky. She gave her life to birth the child, who was brought up by the monk Van Hanh and later grew up to become King Ly Cong Uan, who created Thang Long.

The play ends up with the decision to move the capital from Hoa Lu (the northern province of Ninh Binh) to Thang Long in 1010.

In addition to honouring the historical value of the masterpiece, the play also depicts maternal love, honesty and the moral values and human dignity that are necessary at any time. 

The play depicts the civilisation of the Red River Delta a millennium ago with unique culture, legendary history and local festivals and rituals.

Director Trieu Trung Kien said he thought carefully before making the play because of the historical factors of the story.

“King Ly Cong Uan was an emperor in history but there are many miraculous legends surrounding him, I wonder how to narrate the story to the audiences but still bring a holy atmosphere to the work,” he said.

“Then my team and I decided to combine different traditional arts in the play, so the audience can feel the age-old cultural values through the dancing, singing and acting of the artists.”

Kien used modern techniques like LED screens and lights to make the stage shimmer and appear fantastical.

The play stars People’s Artist Le Ngoc, who won hearts at the previews when her character mother Nga sacrifices herself to give birth to her son.

Writer Nguyen Van Tho, who watched a preview, said he highly appreciated the effort of Le Ngoc Theatre in adapting the play while the performing arts face many obstacles due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The play is invested carefully in terms of costumes, music and stage arrangements,” he said. “I noticed that the audience was drawn to the play from the start to the end.”/.