Update: 07:35 | 26/01/2020
(BGO) - Meritorious Artist Quynh Mai from the Bac Giang Cheo (Traditional Opera) Theater is one of the few successful artists in both art forms of cheo and ca tru (ceremonial singing), winning many awards at national stage festivals. Being at the maturity of her career, Quynh Mai always thinks that she has to make constant efforts with the desire to devote more to the art lovers.
Quynh Mai, whose full name is Pham Thi Mai, was born in 1976. She is the youngest daughter of Pham Huu Bon in the Mat Ninh ancient quan ho (love duet) village in Quang Minh commune, Viet Yen district. Bon used to be a singer in the village. He is very passionate about cheo singing. His 6 children, including 2 boys and 4 girls, all love singing, but he found that Quynh Mai has the best voice.
Meritorious Artist Quynh Mai.
Quynh Mai said when she was small, she only liked to sing cai luong (reformed opera). In 1994, when the Ha Bac Cheo Art Troupe came to the district to select singers, his father urgently taught her two cheo melodies to join the competition. That year, the Ha Bac Cheo Art Troupe recruited more than a dozen of singers, with Quynh Mai winning the highest score.
From the first teacher - her father, after a quarter of a century serving as a professional artist, Quynh Mai has come to a conclusion that for the success of an artist, besides talent, passion and hard work, the most important thing is the teaching of talented, enthusiastic artists.
She still remembers when she studied at the Hanoi Academy of Theater and Cinema, Quynh Mai felt she was lucky to be taught by People's Artist Tran Bang, who both acted as head teacher of her class and directly engaged in teaching.
Performing cheo, Quynh Mai found herself suitable for main female roles such as Chau Long and Thi Kinh... Quynh Mai's first success was the role of Xuy Van in 2001. Preparing for the traditional cheo festival in Quang Ninh province, the Bac Giang Cheo Theater was determined to win a high prize, so it assigned three artists to practice the role of Xuy Van, and the best one would be chosen.
The three were Meritorious Artist Thanh Nhan and two young artists including Quynh Mai. When the theater invited People's Artist Tran Bang to appraise the candidates, Quynh Mai was selected. At that year’s festival, in addition to a gold medal for the main role, Quynh Mai also won the the most beautiful dancer award.
With this achievement, Quynh Mai confidently asserted her artistic talent. She made more efforts and continuously reaped successes: a gold medal at the northern delta and midland region folk songs competition in 2002; two silver medals for the role of the third wife of De Tham (the play “De Tham”) and the role of the wife of Than Nhan Trung (the play “Danh chiem bang vang”) in 2005 and 2009; a gold medal for the role of Nga (The play “The story of Doi village) in 2011... With those achievements, Quynh Mai was awarded the title of Meritorious Artist in 2015.
Besides the successes with cheo, Quynh Mai has also reaped many outstanding achievements in the field of ca tru. Witnessing Quynh Mai performing two forms of ca tru at the 2018 National Ca tru Festival in Ha Tinh province, Prof. Dr. Dang Hoanh Loan, former Deputy Director of the Vietnam National Academy of Music, acknowledged that with a pure and inspiring voice, plus the ability to play traditional music instruments fluently and skillfully, Quynh Mai won the hearts of the Art Council and colleagues in the festival.
Quynh Mai won the A Prize in the talented songtress competition, marking a significant step forward of ca tru Bac Giang after decades of absence in social life.
Quynh Mai got married to her partner, Director-Meritorious Artist Ta Quang Lam, who shares the same passion and aspiration to rise up in the career. The artist couple have had conditions to support and share with each other about their profession.
Quynh Mai plays her role of Kieu Loan in Goi do and wins gold medal at the National Cheo Festival 2019 in Bac Giang province.
"The cheo songs I sing, with thirsty for love in spring" seems to be applied for Meritorious Artist Quynh Mai. Her love of art is still as youthful as previously, always burning in the soul of the artist. Despite many hardships and sacrifices, Quynh Mai still feels happy with the increasing return of the public who love the traditional arts.
On the occasion of the year-end or early spring festivals, the Bac Giang Cheo Theater is always full of performance schedules in all villages in and outside the province. At the National Cheo Festival 2019, when witnessing Bac Giang audiences "eat with cheo, sleep with cheo, and talk cheo", many artists exclaimed with delight that cheo is returning to its golden age like the 90s years of the previous century when people had to line up and even went so early to "get" a seat to see cheo plays!
Quynh Mai worried that art has no end and it will fade away without passion and hard work. From her experience, Quynh Mai shared that without teachers such as People's Artist Tran Bang, People's Artist Doan Thanh Binh, People's Artist Diem Loc, Meritorious Artisan Pham Thi Man, among others, it is impossible to have Meritorious Artist Quynh Mai today. Among those teachers, Quynh Mai does not forget to mention the first teacher - her father Pham Huu Bon.