US-based singer Khanh Ly’s performance in Hanoi was suddenly canceled

Khanh Ly’s music CD and book were released in Vietnam (photo by Bui Van Phu)

The performance called “Remember Hanoi’s autumn” scheduled for the evening of September 24 in Hanoi by the US-based singer Khanh Ly and two other famous singers was suddenly canceled less than a day before the event, causing great damage to the unit that stands for the organization.

According to VOA’s research through an anonymous source, the Hanoi Opera House, which was hired to perform the performance, sent a dispatch on September 23 to S Media Advertising Joint Stock Company, the organizer, to inform the reason why Ms. Khanh Ly’s show cannot take place at the theater.

The official dispatch said that the Opera House itself received a notice from another agency saying that there would be a power cut “to inspect and handle high-voltage equipment” from 9 am on September 24.

This power cut is intended to “ensure safe, stable and continuous power supply” not only for the Hanoi Opera House but also for the entire power grid in Hoan Kiem district, the official dispatch said.

This is a force majeure situation that we all don’t want,” the Opera House said in a letter to S Media Advertising Joint Stock Company, and expressed the company’s desire to “share, cooperate with,” according to which the company needs to “delay the concert schedule on September 24, 2022, to an appropriate time.”

VOA tried to contact stakeholders to verify and learn more about their views but failed to connect.

News about the show’s cancellation was posted by a number of domestic newspapers including Thanh Nien, Lao Dong, and Giao Thong, but quickly retracted after a short time.

Screenshots posted by some people on social networks show Thanh Nien with the title “Stop Khanh Ly live show in Hanoi, what do the organizers say?“, Lao Dong titled their news “The reason for the VND2 billion performances of Khanh Ly, Duc Tuan and Cam Van in Hanoi were canceled” while Giao Thong revealed a little detail in the headline “Hanoi Opera House violated the contract, the show organization company lost billions of money.”

However, by the end of the afternoon of September 24, all of the above articles had disappeared online.

Meanwhile, on social networks, the Opera House and the Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports received many criticisms from the public, according to VOA’s observations. Many people wrote on Facebook that “Hanoi culture managers are very rude,” “small people,” or “make culture but very uncultured.”

Some people speculated that the root cause of the show’s cancellation was that singer Khanh Ly used to sing the unlicensed song “Mother’s inheritance” in June in Lam Dong, frustrating the authorities.

As VOA reported, Ms. Khanh Ly, a 77-year-old singer who has lived in the US for many years and is famous for the songs of musician Trinh Cong Son, is currently on a tour across Vietnam from June 25 with the concerts. Her first performance was in Da Lat, where she began her singing career at a tea shop in 1962.

On the evening of June 25, Khanh Ly sang “My mother’s inheritance” in front of nearly 1,000 spectators and according to Vietnamese authorities, this song is out of the list of 24 songs registered for a license. “Mother’s inheritance” is one of the Golden Skin Songs by musician Trinh Cong Son that is still banned in Vietnam. After the incident, the company that organized the show was fined in the form of a warning.

In the following months, Ms. Khanh Ly had shows in several provinces including Hanoi and Da Nang.

Khanh Ly left Vietnam to live in the US in 1975 and started returning to Vietnam to sing in 2014. (Translated)

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