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National opera theatre performs famous arias




Conductor Đồng Quang Vinh and Hà Nội Voices Choir will perform at Sparkling Night on May 14 & 15. Photo courtesy of Hà Nội Voices Choir

HÀ NỘI – Artists from Việt Nam National Opera and Ballet (VNOB) will perform music and arias in a concert on Saturday.

Entitled Sparkling Night, the concert will feature leading opera singers such as Đào Tố Loan, Vành Khuyên and Huy Đức.

The concert consists of two parts: Overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream and World Famous Romances and Aria.

“We want the concert to be an enthralling performance marking an engaging and quality return for our audience who love classical music and opera,” said concert art director Phan Mạnh Đức.

“VNOB also aims to bring classical music, opera and ballet closer to the audience.”

Overture A Midsummer Night’s Dream will feature Felix Mendelssohn with excerpts such as Wedding March, Scherzo, Intermezzo and Notturno played by VNOB’s orchestra under the baton of conductor Đồng Quang Vinh.

Vinh graduated and received a Master’s in orchestral conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. 

He is also a soloist, performing with a variety of traditional music instruments and is frequently invited to conduct and perform on international stages. 

In the second part, the singers and Hà Nội Voices Choir will perform pieces and arias by Vivaldi, Handel, Puccini, Mozart, Bizet, and Rossini.

A highlight will be a performance by soprano Tố Loan. She will sing Queen of the Night aria from Magic Flute.

Tố Loan is one of the leading sopranos, who won the top prize at the Singapore Lyric Opera ASEAN Vocal Competition and the first prize at the Lidal North Opera Workshop in Oslo.

She has been a soloist at the VNOB since 2016.

The audience will enjoy her solo performance in Fruhlingsstimmen aria from Voices of Spring by Johann Strauss II and in group with Brindisi aria from La Traviata by Verdi.

Other soloists at the concert include Huy Đức, Anh Vũ, and Hương Diệp.

Hương Diệp received a Master’s of Performance at Bucharest National Music Academy in Romania. She won first prize at the Dinu Lipatti Romania International Festival.

At the concert Hương Diệp will sing O Mio Babbnino Cargo aria from Gianni Schicchi by Puccini.

The concert will bring the audience to a starry summer night getting lost in the magical world and stepping into the boundary between illusion and reality.

It will begin at 8pm at Hà Nội Opera House on May 14 and 15. Call 0913056462 for ticket information.  





HCM City museums seek to digitize, widen reach




Digitisation helps the museum reach a wider audience, promotes cultural heritage values and increases interaction between the museum and the public. VNA/ Photo

HCM CITY — Most museums in HCM City are in the process of restoring, upgrading and rearranging their display systems after long closures imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The news that the War Remnants Museum, Southern Women’s Museum, History Museum, Áo Dài Museum and HCM City Museum were ready to welcome international tourists was widely welcomed last month. 

The War Remnants Museum in District 3 has been one of the most popular draws in the city for international. 

In 2019, the museum welcomed about 3000 people a day, more than 70 per cent of them international tourists. Now, despite the pandemic situation having eased, the number of visitors has dropped to as low as 100 a day. 

Nguyễn Trần Tâm Hà, deputy director of the War Remnants Museum, said that to welcome international visitors back, they were focusing on upgrading its thematic galleries. 

The museum is also collaborating with the United States on the topic of post-war remedial action that future visitors can learn about.

The Southern Women’s Museum in District 3 has also renovated its infrastructure to create a more modern space. Its exhibition areas are being rearranged with more attractive content and themes.

Museum director Nguyễn Thị Thắm said that they now meet the criteria for epidemic prevention to welcome international guests. The museum also plans to organise more cultural activities to enrich visitors’ experiences.

“In the near future, the museum will coordinate with travel agencies and restaurants to organise culinary events that will allow visitors to enjoy special southern dishes. We also want to open the Áo Dài show every weekend.” 

Digitising data

Besides enlarging its physical collection, the HCM City Museum of History is digitising data on existing artefacts and deploying AI and virtual 3D technology for future development. 

Visitors to the HCM Museum of History can now read in depth information about any artefact by using touchscreens or scanning a QR code on their mobile phones.

Deputy director Nguyễn Khắc Xuân Thi said they were trying to become a “smart museum”, following the general worldwide trend. They were also working to introduce more cultural heritage education programmes and student tours. 

Several performances featuring water puppetry and bội singing have been scheduled for the near future. Further information about these will be posted on the museum’s social media channels such as YouTube and Facebook, Thi said. 

Many experts believe that digital transformation is a new step museums should take to become more and more attractive, especially to young people.

Thắm, director of the Southern Women’s Museum, said that digitisation will help visitors interact with artefacts at a deeper level.

Furthermore, when emergencies like pandemics occur, it is essential that museums organise online exhibitions, he said.

Digitisation not only helps the museum reach a wider audience and promote cultural heritage values, it also increases interaction between the museum and the public, he added. — 


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Closing ceremony to send farewell to remember



Lê Hương

Artists are in a rush to prepare for a magnificent art show to end the SEA Games 31 at Hà Nội’s Mỹ Đình Indoor Athletics Palace to send a warm farewell to regional friends, according to organisers.

Nguyễn Tuyết Hoa, Marketing Manager of the Việt Nam Opera & Ballet Theatre, said the art show at the closing ceremony on May 23 would be completely different from that in the opening ceremony.

“We will make the closing as a music gala with a long-lasting echo, feelings and inspiration, and send the warm greetings of the hosts Việt Nam to neighbouring friends,” she said.

Stage ready for the closing ceremony. Photo Cccourtesy of organisers

The stage will be built with modern equipment such as an led screen and the most up-to-date technology system. The closing ceremony will take place at 8pm for 90 minutes and will be broadcast on VTV channels.

The theme of the show will be “Converge and Shine”.

“During the two-year pandemic, most sport and art activities were stopped,” Hoa said.

“The SEA Games 31 in Việt Nam is a big convergence, where regional athletes flock. They have competed and shined during the past two weeks. The closing ceremony will be the moment to praise and spread their spirit.”

With that theme running through, the art show will open with a dance with traditional conical hats by Dance Group 218, which expresses technology combined with traditional Vietnamese features.

Images of the capital Hà Nội will be represented at the show to say goodbye to athletes: a Thăng Long – Hà Nội holy land with talented people symbolising the strength of the country; a sparkling city with romantic and peaceful moments; beautiful girls wearing áo dài (traditional long dress); and flower sellers in the streets.

“We will review the most moving moments of the sports teams, volunteers and organising members, and the sweat, tears, injuries and smiles of the victories,” Hoa said.

 “The Farewell” will highlight distinctive Vietnamese culture performed by 100 Quan họ (love duet) folk singers, who will sing ancient songs of Bắc Ninh,

According to director Hoàng Công Cường, the whole team of 90 artists include various noted names such as Văn Mai Hương, Uyên Linh, Đông Hùng, Khánh Linh, Dương Hoàng Yến, Bảo Trâm, Phạm Anh Duy and Hà Nhi.

Director Hoàng Công Cường in a rehearsal for the show. Photo courtesy of the director

The host flag will be handed over to Cambodian representatives. After that, artists from Cambodia will have a performance of “Cambodia Welcoming and Blessing” to introduce their country, people and culture.

The performance will include the Rose Dance, White Pigeon contemporary dance, and the song “Cambodia Welcoming and Blessing.”

Artist Thanh Hiền, producing manager of the opening and closing ceremony, said Cambodian artists would transmit a message of regional integration, connecting international friends and looking forward to the next SEA Games.

The palace has a stage of 800sq.m and an led screen of 580sq.m. Some 200 tonnes of equipment will be prepared to serve the show.

“The whole team of 400 people will spare no effort to offer a high-quality show with the best sound and light effects,” Cường said.


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Hà Nội Cuisine Festival opens



Lê Hương

HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội Cuisine and Handicraft Villages Tourism Festival has opened to visitors in Lê Quang Đạo Street in Nam Từ Liêm District (opposite the F1 track) to entertain SEA Games visitors.

The event gathers hundreds of handicraft villages, artisans and food suppliers in the city and throughout the country.

The festival introduces the top dishes of the city and some neighbouring localities, typical handicraft villages, which offer tourism services, and demonstrations of traditional handicrafts.

The event introduces the best dishes of the capital. — Photo Hoàng Lân

Bamboo booths host cuisine spaces offering popular dishes such as rice pancakes, shrimp cakes, coffee, young rice cake, and tea scented with lotus from the West Lake.

Handicraft shops introduce notable villages like Vạn Phúc Silk Village, Bát Tràng Ceramic Village and Sơn Đồng Wood Craft Village, where visitors can listen to guides explaining the village production processes.

“This festival aims to advertise the images and destinations of Hà Nội’s tourism and introduce local cuisine to both domestic and foreign visitors,” said Nguyễn Thị Mai Anh, deputy director of Hà Nội Investment, Trade and Tourism Centre, at the opening ceremony on Friday night.

The event highlights the importance of cuisine and handicraft villages as tourism products to contribute to the local economy and preserve intangible heritage, she said.

Hà Nội has been considered a hub of delicious dishes, which represent the creativity and talent of local residents.

She said that the city had been voted as a city with alluring cuisine by various international travel magazines.

Hà Nội hosts more than 1,350 handicraft villages, many of which are popular destinations for tourists.

The festival will last until May 23, and is part of a series of activities to advertise the capital as a safe, friendly and attractive destination. —


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