New traditional music show for tourists to open in HCMC

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Hon Viet "The Soul of Vietnam," a series of performances for tourists presenting Vietnamese history set to traditional folk music, will make its debut on October 15 at the Ho Chi Minh City Opera House.

The 60-minute show, produced by Me Kong Artists Company who will be investing VND500 million (US$24,000) in the project, is planned to take place on the 15th and 23rd of every month.

It will have three distinct parts, with the first part a depiction of Hai Ba Trung (the Trung sisters, c.12-43AD) riding their two elephants to fight against Chinese rule, that will be accompanied by gongs and stone instruments.

The second part will take the viewer on a journey guided by Moon boy, a popular character in Vietnamese folk literature. He will guide the audience from the north to the south of Vietnam through traditional Vietnamese music, including cai luong (Southern opera), nha nhac (imperial music from Hue), and hat xam (folk music popular in the North).

The last part will highlight Saigonese culture with the performance of Ban giao huong he pho ("Street Symphony") by composer Nguyen Hoai Anh.

The event will also include five songs, representing five continents, performed with traditional Vietnamese musical instruments.

According to the organizer, the show will be presented in both Vietnamese and English.

At the press conference on September 12 in HCMC, artist Linh Huyen, the company's director, said that "The Soul of Vietnam" is designed for tourists, especially foreigners who would like to learn more about local culture and history.

"There are few shows for tourists in Vietnam in general and the city in particular, and as a result many tourists have no idea where to go during their trips in the country," said Linh Huyen, who acts as writer and director of the program.

Huyen said that Me Kong Artists will cooperate with local travel agencies to promote the show to tourists.

The company plans to organize more shows at Kim Chau Theater, located at 15-17 Nguyen Thai Binh Street, District 1, HCMC, in the future.

Tickets, ranging from VND80,000 to 250,000, are available at HCMC Opera House, 7 Lam Son Square, Dist.1.

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