The present Doodle celebrates cải lương, a style of current South Vietnamese folk opera, on the observance of Vietnam Stage Day, a yearly festival of the rich history of theater in the nation.
A mix of traditional and contemporary impacts, cải lương combines opera with spoken drama to make an energetic expression of Vietnamese culture and character.
Loosely translated to “reformed theater,” the structure developed from the traditional Vietnamese opera called hát bội in the Mekong Delta of southern Vietnam at the turn of the 20th century.
Joined by an ensemble containing traditional Vietnamese instruments like the đàn tranh (“six-string zither”), cải lương rejuvenates a wide range of stories, from ancient legends of monarchs and warriors to investigations of present day Vietnamese social themes.
While the subject material may change, one regular component is the mark melancholic tune structure called vọng cổ, which means “nostalgia for the past.”
One of the most famous cải lương creations is “Tiếng Trống Mê Linh,” translates roughly to “The Drum Sound of Mê Linh.” The historical play recounts to the genuine story of Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, two sisters who helped lead the battle for Vietnamese freedom from the Chinese Han Dynasty in the first century.
An exemplary of the artform, “Tiếng Trống Mê Linh” has been arranged by numerous individuals of Vietnam’s top cải lương entertainers since it previously appeared in 1977.
Longer than a century after its birth, cải lương is still enjoyed today as one of the extraordinarily Vietnamese artforms and a fundamental connect to the country’s history.