A modern folk opera of Vietnam
Originated in the southern of Vietnam in the early 20th century, which was mostly believed to first appear in Mekong Delta, the Cai Luong (literal translated as reformed opera) is a form of modern folk opera in Vietnam.
Derived from Boi Singing, Cai Luong (meaning: blown a new wind into it, then made it more lively in theme, orchards, stage and performing arts. It is easily to recognize the music of Cai Luong via its soundtrack of guitar and zither, and its content rather like telling a story. There are two parts in a Cai Luong : the dialogue part and the singing part to express thoughts and emotions. The success of Cai Luong is much depended on the sweet voices of the cast, the melodies that are much appreciated by the audience. Notable singers of Cai Luong are: Tai Linh, Kim Tu Long, Thanh Nga etc, and famous episodes are: Ben Cau Det Lua, Luc Van Tien, Luong Son Ba – Chuc Anh Dai, Luc Van Tien, Lan and Diep love story, etc.
There are two main types of Cai Luong: the ancient Cai Luong and the modern Cai Luong. While the ancient Cai Luong imitates tales, legends or history, the modern Cai Luong tells romantic story blended with family and social relationships. In ancient Cai Luong performance, actors and actresses often wear elaborate and colorful costumes.
Nowadays, Cai Luong is a unique and interesting art performance of people in Saigon city and southern provinces of Vietnam, contributes much to enrich the spiritual life of Vietnamese people as well as the treasure of Vietnam folk songs.
Good to know
If you are in Saigon, you can come to Tran Huu Trang Theater in 515 – 517 Tran Hung Dao Street, District 1 to enjoy free Cai Luong
To watch Cai Luong in Hanoi, you can come to Hanoi Cai Luong Theater in 72 Hang Bac street, Hoan Kiem district.