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The oldest Vietnam royal theater opened to visitors

Wed, 08 Apr 2015. Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:04

Duyet Thi Duong is regarded as the oldest Vietnam royal theater. Duyet Thi Duong was constructed in Hue Imperial City under the order of Minh Mang Emperor. The architecture has been already restored and opened to visitors recently.

In late March, Hue Monuments Conservation Center inaugurated the exhibition space and art performances at Duyet Thi Duong in Hue Imperial City to serve visitors. Duyet Thi Duong Theater was built in 1826 under the power of Minh Mang Emperor. This used to be a royal theater where kings and lords enjoyed Vietnam traditional art forms, especially ancient Tuong singing and art performances to welcome foreign guests. Director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center - Mr. Phan Thanh Hai said that the theater was being used as the main stage of royal traditional art theater to introduce intangible cultural heritage values, including royal music, dancing, and royal Tuong singing.

 

Royal Theatre

 

Undergoing nearly 200 years with the impact of the nature and wars, Duyet Thi Duong Theater was seriously damaged. Then, the work was restored many times. In this upgrade and restoration, the stage was renovated with changes in interior. Specifically, the system of introducing three typical art forms in Vietnam traditional culture (Royal music, Royal dancing, and Royal Tuong singing) was renewed. Mr. Phan Thanh Hai, Director of Hue Monuments Conservation Center said that in this upgrade and restoration, the stage was renovated suitably with complete changes in interior. Stage is the floor located in the center of 4 spaces. The stage will be covered by a vivid carpet when there are performances. The ceiling is decorated by images of stars, iridescent clouds, moon, and beautiful blue sky, bringing a feel like being in outdoor area to the performers and the viewers. The theater is the stage of royal Tuong singing and traditional music performances.

 

Hue royal court music performance in Duyet Thi Duong Theater

 

Duyet Thi Duong was restored many times under the power of Nguyen Dynasties' emperors. In 1962, Duyet Thi Duong was used as a basis for teaching music of Hue National Music School. Works around the theater were destroyed to build accommodation for teachers and students. And, the structure of the theater was changed. Undergoing many years of wars, natural impacts and un-awareness of people, Duyet Thi Duong was severely degraded. Since 1995, with the support of Vietnam government and French enterprises, Duyet Thi Duong was invested with more than 10 billion dong to maintain and restore. In January 1, 2013, Duyet Thi Duong was officially opened to visitors. There were artisans such as Le Van Kich, Tran Huu Thi coming here to instruct people in the royal music group.

 

Duyet Thi Duong in Hue Citadel

 

In addition, the center renewed the displaying system of three reserved art forms, including royal music, royal dancing, and royal Tong singing, introducing about documentary images, costumes, music instruments, and many relevant documents to the public and visitors. In addition to the Vietnam traditional music, visitors can admire many documentary images, costumes, music instruments, Tuong's masks, along with many documents of Nguyen Dynasty. After being recognized as intangible cultural world heritage, Hue Royal Traditional Art Theater collected, staged and performed over 40 shows. This contributed to diversifying Vietnam culture, especially in musical traditions. In addition, performances at Duyet Thi Duong are readjusted and invested meticulously to meet the increasing demands of visitors, and requirement in reserving and promoting intangible heritages in Vietnam in general and those of Hue Citadel in particular.

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