Book on cải lương guru reprinted
HCM CITY — A book about the late Meritorious Artist Nguyễn Ngọc Bạch, a guru of cải lương (reformed opera), has been released in HCM City.
The 498-page book, Nguyễn Ngọc Bạch- Mot Đời San Khấu (Memoirs of Nguyễn Ngọc Bạch – A Life in Cải Lương), features the career of scriptwriter and director Bach, who used his art to serve the revolutionary movement in Viet Nam in the 1950s and 60s.
Published by the HCM City General Publishing House, the work includes five chapters about the artist’s famous works about the southern people and soldiers during the country’s two wars of resistance and national construction.
It also features the Cải Lương Nam Bo Troupe, which opened in 1952 and attracted artists, including Bạch, who were engaged in the revolutionary movement in South Viet Nam.
The troupe played an important role in the theatre’s developments in the South. Its artists used their art to encourage southern people, intellectuals, poor farmers and workers to join the national revolutionary movement.
“The book, Nguyễn Ngọc Bạch-Mot Đời San Khấu, helps readers, particularly youth, learn more about cải lương and the art’s developments in Vietnamese theatre,” said Meritorious Artist Ca Le Hồng, who has more than 40 years of experience in cải lương.
“Young readers can also learn about the country’s history and the great contributions that southern artists made to the country and people,” she added.
Born in 1922 in An Giang Province, Bạch began to love cải lương when he was a child.
After the August 1945 Revolution, Bạch joined the revolutionary cause in the South. He worked for the Cải Lương Nam Bo Troupe, travelling around the region to offer shows featuring the activities of the Viet Minh (Viet Nam League for Independence) Committee of the South in August 1945. In 1954, he and artists of the troupe moved to the North.
He wrote and directed several plays, such as Lửa Chay Len Rồi (The Fire) and Mau Thắm Đồng Nọc Nạn (Blood in the Nọc Nạn Field), which portray patriotism and Vietnamese culture and characters. His plays left a strong impression on audiences.
After 1975, he lived and worked in HCM City. In the 1980s, he worked for art schools in the city and neighbouring provinces to offer cải lương training for students.
He was a founder of the 5B Small Theatre, the first and one of the country’s leading experimental theatres.
“Bạch’s life is devoted to cải lương. I hope young readers will love the art after watching his book, Nguyễn Ngọc Bạch-Mot Đời San Khấu,” said actress Hồng.—
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