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Hanoi Makes a Song and Dance

The concert, which opens this Sunday night, will give the capital city's music aficionados a taste of two German classics and a Vietnamese ballet.

They include Wagner's 'Overture Rienzi', Beethoven's 'Symphony No 4' and the ballet 'Y Dam.'

'Y Dam' is a recreation of the imposing and poetic Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), and features the traditional dances of the E De and Ba Na ethnic minority groups.

The ballet recounts the story of the brave Y Dam, who overcomes obstacles to save people's lives and his love.

Stricken by drought, the villagers pray for rain. During the ritual, the beautiful H'Ling is chosen as a sacrifice.

Y Dam begs the village patriarch to spare her life, but his entreaties are refused. Determined to save his beloved's life through any means, Y Dam calls his friends to help him break the mountain and dig streams, directing the water to the village.

H'Ling's life is spared, and the villagers gather to celebrate the arrival of the water and the happiness of Y Dam and Hling.

The ballet, which is jointly choreographed by People's Artist Cong Nhac and Meritorious Artist Pham Anh Phuong, boasts costumes designed by La Hang and music by the German conductor Wolfgang Hoyer, who developed the music based on the work of late composer Nguyen Dinh Tan.

Almost 100 musicians and ballet dancers from the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Army Arts College will appear at the concert.

All will be conducted by Wolfgang Hoyer, who is a member of the German Music Council and director of Munich's Leipzig Music Centre.

Born into a family rich in musical tradition in Chemnitz, Germany, Hoyer showed his aptitude for music at early age.

He studied composition, conducting and piano at the Felix Mendelsson Bartholdi Conservatory, from which he graduated in 1976.

He began his career as a conductor at the Leipzig Opera Theatre, where he prevailed over the famous Gewandhaus Leipzig Symphony Orchestra many times.

He was appointed as director of Suhl city's orchestra before taking up the post as director of the Semper Dresden Opera Theatre in 1987, which later became the National German Opera Theatre, Berlin.

Hoyer has been awarded prizes following the great success of the opera 'Lukullus,' by Paul Dessau, and 'The Play of Love and Accidental by Gerhard Rosenfeld.'

The two-night concert, co-organised by the Vietnam Opera and Ballet Theatre and the Goethe Institute, will start at 8pm this Saturday at the Hanoi Opera House.

Reprinted with permission from Nhan Dan Newspaper.


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