Friday , July 12 2024

International award-winning opera artist wants to return to homeland

Nguyễn Khắc Hòa spoke about his desire to encourage Vietnamese audiences to love opera.

Award-winning opera singer Nguyễn Khắc Hòa. Photo kevevn.vn

Nguyễn Khắc Hòa is a PhD student at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music. In 2021, Hòa won the first prize at the Classical International Opera Competition in Moscow, the second prize at the Master of Russian Music, and the first prize at the Kabalevsky All-Russian Music Competition.

His current music project Russian Melody – 2024 has been performed in Hà Nội, Huế and Đà Nẵng.

Hòa spoke about his desire to encourage Vietnamese audiences to love opera.

How receptive were the audiences to your performances?

This project is the first step for coming projects that will be performed in Việt Nam. Hopefully, Vietnamese audiences will have more chances to enjoy and get to know more about classical music.

After the shows, I was really happy to receive endless applause from the audiences. Classical music is like a business card promoting the country’s development.

The project was carried out with financial support from the sponsors, but I also spent some of my own money on it. Not only in Hà Nội, the audiences in Đà Nẵng and Huế welcomed and packed the concert halls. I was a little bit surprised and I was really happy.

What made you want to pursue opera?

I didn’t come to opera early and when I first encountered it I found it elitist and difficult and I wanted to conquer it. I was lucky to receive a scholarship studying in Russia and now the more I learn, the more passionate I am.

The path I chose was not easy because Vietnamese classical music still does not have a truly professional environment like that in Europe to develop. But I think the environment is created by ourselves.

Could you tell about your study in Russia. Have you had difficulties?

I’m honoured to study at the Gnesin Russian Academy of Music. It is a school with nearly 130 years of training to provide Russia and the world with high-quality professionals in the field of music.

The school has trained many Vietnamese who work in conservatories and prestigious music organisations.

The competitive and harsh environment gives me knowledge and experience. I have to try to learn a lot. Additionally, I have to look for opportunities to promote Vietnamese culture to the world.

Currently, the number of Vietnamese students in Russia is large. This is a good chance to promote the image of the country. Every Vietnamese person abroad is a cultural ambassador of the country.

You have performed in different countries, how do you see them promoting classical music?

In many countries, classical music has an important position. One of important things is to help listeners have their own tastes and to guide them on how to listen and enjoy the classical music.

In my tour in Japan, concerts were held in small localities and far away from big cities. Japanese had a good way to bring classical music closer to the audiences. In the concerts, they enjoyed familiar melodies and songs first and then other pieces later.

One time, I performed a song whose melody was used for an advertisement of a Japanese beverage company. When the audience heard the familiar melody they stood up and applauded nonstop, so that concert was a success.

I think that Japan finds a way to inspire the audiences with classical music. Meanwhile, classical music concerts in Việt Nam have a repertoire which is still unfamiliar to the audiences.

What is your plan after your PhD thesis?

I will defend my doctoral thesis this year and I will tour Japan in September. This month, I will perform in Italy and have a short training course there. I intend to sing Vietnamese folk songs Lý Ngựa Ô Huế, Bèo Dạt Mây Trôi, Đi Cấy and Qua Cầu Gió Bay.

It is necessary to choose songs that are easy to listen to first, creating excitement and curiosity for a western audience, so they can learn more deeply. I will also take advantage of tours to learn how western countries develop and promote classical music.

My family lives in the central province of Quảng Bình. Thinking about my homeland, I always think about simple things. I miss cassava and sweet potatoes so much, they are my childhood. So I want to return home because I want to be close to my family.

I hope to be able to contribute my small part to join the community in developing classical music in Việt Nam and more widely promoting national culture to the world.

I also have plans to open a centre with foreign partners creating more resources for classical music in Việt Nam. Once I have completed my PhD I want to return to Việt Nam to work despite the fact that I have opportunities to work abroad.

I think that no matter where I live and although I want to travel a lot and meet and see lots of new things, I want to return to my homeland. VNS

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