Bac Ninh to host love duet singing festival
Update: Feb 22, 2018
The annual love duet singing festival will be organised on February 27 and 28 in Lim town, Noi Due and Lien Bao communes of Tien Du District in the northern province of Bac Ninh.

The two-day festival is expected to gather dozens of local amateur and professional love duet (quan ho) singers and thousands of tourists.

The artists will perform on six stages on Lim Mountain, floating boats in nearby lake and at veteran singers’ houses.

The singing will be in a cappella style (singing without musical instruments), which was the local style of love duets, Mr. Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy head of the festival’s organising board, said.

Folk games such as traditional swinging, wrestling, hide and seek and card games will be organised.
The singers are allowed to sing only quan ho, not other traditional vocal arts like cheo (traditional opera) and chau van (ceremonial singing) or modern pop music, he said.

The organisers also ban computer games, circus, flying motor and other games that use loudspeakers and would affect the festival’s atmosphere.

“This year, we will tighten management for the event,” Mr. Hung said. “If any individuals or clubs violate regulations, the locality will not permit them to perform at the event next year or at any other event hosted by the locality.”

The art of love duets was inscribed in the UNESCO’s representative list of intangible cultural heritage in September 2009.

Quan ho is an art form that combines various elements, including music, lyrics and costumes, and features the distinctive culture of people in the region formerly called Kinh Bac.

The singing represents different kinds of relationships -- the relationship between male and female singers as romantic lovers, the relationship between two friendly villages and the relationship between performers and the audience. Each element helps define quan ho, give it life and meaning, and the resulting harmony is so much more than just a beautiful song.