|The Hope Choir in a performance at the official residence of the Sri Lankan Ambassador
(Photo: Lan Anh/ VOV)
On a weekend afternoon, the Venezuelan, Dutch, Greek, Italian, and Finnish Ambassadors to Vietnam gathered at the official residence of the Sri Lankan Ambassador to enjoy a special concert.
The Ambassador said, “Music is the language of spirit. It opens the secret of life, bringing peace. I went to listen to the whole choir and it's always amazing to listen to them. Today, they are going to probably sing about 30 different languages”.
This was a special concert performed by the visually-impaired. Everyone was caught up in the musical magic of the concert.
Guests were treated to music from around the world, from America’s “Glorry Halleluja”, and “You raise me up” to songs of other countries such as Grushitsa (Russia), Horch (Germany), Funiculli, Funicula (Italy), and Sakura (Japan), as well as Vietnam’s traditional songs.
The Hope Choir made its debut with 20 talented visually-impaired singers accompanied by pianist Ton That Triem and his wife, opera singer Nguyen Xuan Thanh.
Mr. Triem established the Choir 17 years ago. It takes a special effort for visually-impaired people to learn by heart and sing songs in 20 languages. Triem reads the lyrics aloud slowly and clearly for the choir members to follow.
Mr. Nguyen Van Hung, member of the Hope Choir, said, “English has ending sounds like k and n as in like, line. The most difficult language is Russian with its “r” sound. We have to practice many times and adjust our tongues to speak the different languages. It’s difficult”.
The Hope Choir has performed at different events: National Days at Embassies in Hanoi, and performed for special guests such as former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, Malaysian King and former US President Bill Clinton.
The Choir has released 4 CDs and DVDs of national anthems of 20 countries. The group offered various performances and took the audience on journeys to different areas in the world through music.
Dutch Ambassador Nienke Trooster to Vietnam, said, “I am so impressed with the people who come and not only bring beautiful music but also sing all these different languages. It was really moving and very professional. People with disabilities proved today that they can perform as well”.
The members of the Hope Choir come from different areas in Vietnam such as Ha Tinh, Phu Tho, Thanh Hoa, and Bac Ninh.
Some are trained in traditional musical instruments, some others are amateur and trained by artist Triem and his wife. Despite different background, they have one thing in common: music.
Nguyen Thao Van, Director of Will to Live Center, is a guest. She said, “I admire their talents very much. It’s not easy to the disabled to sing. It’s so amazing. They must spend a lot of time practicing. They sing with all their heart and enthusiasm”.
The name of the choir “Hope” shows the wish of 20 members to try to make their dreams come true.