HCMC: Concert to mark the Agent Orange Day

The Ho Chi Minh City Ballet, Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) on August 3 will present a concert in the Saigon Opera House in cooperation with the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/ Dioxin (VAVA) to mark the Agent Orange Day (August 10).
August 01, 2019 | 10:43

HCMC: Concert to mark the Agent Orange Day

Agent Orange was a defoliant used extensively by the US during the American War (called ‘the Vietnam War’ outside Vietnam). Almost two million US gallons of Agent Orange and associated chemicals were sprayed on Vietnam, plus parts of Laos and Cambodia, between 1962 and 1971.

The US army sprayed some 80 million litres of toxic chemicals in Vietnam during the war, 61 per cent of which was AO, containing 366kg of dioxin. As a result, more than 3 million ha of forested land was destroyed, while basic water and food sources for millions of people were contaminated.

Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to AO/dioxin. Tens of thousands of people died from exposure, while millions of others went on to suffer from cancer and other incurable diseases. Children and grand children of many victims have been affected with widespread birth deformities.

Its horrific health effects continue to this day. The toxic chemical still remains across 28 sites in Vietnam to date.

The concert’s main item will be Beethoven’s Triple Concerto for violin, cello and piano. But this will be preceded by an exciting line-up of traditional Japanese drums from the Ryuko Mirai Drum Ensemble.

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto was written in 1803, when Beethoven was 32, though it wasn’t performed publically for another five years. It’s in three movements, as is usual for concertos. The slow middle movement is very short, lasting only five or six minutes, and leads into the third and final movement without a break.

The concert will end with the symphonic poem “Thanh dong To quoc” by the late composer, song-writer Hoang Van (1930-2018). This will be an important event, musically thrilling, dedicated to a major Vietnamese cause, and with a patriotic Vietnamese theme at the end. The concert will take place under the baton of conductor Le Phi Phi, the son of Hoang Van.

The solo violin part of the concert will be played by Nguyen Huu Nguyen, the cello by Emma Savouret, and the piano by Ho Dac Thuy Hoang./.

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