Wednesday, 28/09/2022
The history of Hue classical opera
Update9/17/2020 1:41:07 PM
The history of Hue classical opera is said to begin in 1627 when Dao Duy Tu first introduced to Lord Nguyen Phuc Nguyen. Therefore Dao Duy Tu is said to be the founder of “Tuong Hue” (Hue classical opera) and is still worshiped by artists today.
Tuong Hue (Source: internet)
Tuong Hue (Source: internet)

At Lord Nguyen Phuc Chu's invitation, Chinese Venerable Thich Dai San visited Hue in 1695. He later described the classical opera performance that he had seen in the Lord's residence. Another performance in Dang Trong (the South Vietnam) was also illustrated in the artwork called "A Voyage Cochinchine in the year 1792- 1793" by J. Barrow. Hue classical opera developed in Phu Xuan traditional culture and flourished under Nguyen dynasty. Plays were performed at stages inside the Citadel such as Duyet Thi Duong, Tinh Quang Vien, Thong Minh Duong, Khiem Minh Duong, etc. Emperor Tu Duc once established groups of composers. One of the leading figures was Dao Tan, who composed several well-known plays.

Under the reign of Emperor Tu Duc, hundreds plays were composed and a number of classical opera artists moved to the capital. Emperor Dong Khanh was so interested in classical opera that he named his servants after characters. Emperor Thanh Thai was also keen on classical opera as he not only showed his respect to excellent artists, but also offered them bonus money and titles. Thanh Thai was the only Emperor under Nguyen dynasty appeared on the stage and played drum while Emperor Khai Dinh set up a space for performances in Cung An Dinh, offered costumes for artists and created every favorable condition for talented artists.

Since Tu Duc's reign, Hue classical opera became popular in public. Several troupes were founded and competed with each other. Ever since, Hue classical theater has been maintained and developed. In Hue capital, theaters were constructed far and near. There were a number of famous theaters in Hue by 1945 such as Bac Hoa, Nam Hoa, Dong Xuan Lau, Kim Long, An Cuu, Vi Da, Bao Vinh, etc.
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