China NCPA Chorus was established on December 8th, 2009. WU Lingfen, the famous Chinese conductor, serves as its chorus master. As the professional artistic performing group that belongs to the highest palace of performing arts, the Chorus adheres to the NCPA’s guiding principle of “for the people, for the arts, and for the world” and is recognized as a vigorous professional chorus with infinite potential.
During the process of its growth in the past seven years, names of many most outstanding artistic masters in today’s world have been observed, including famous directors Francesca Zambello, Giancarlo del Monaco, Hugo de Ana, CHEN Xinyi, CAO Qijing, LIAO Xianghong, YI Liming and LI Liuyi; famous conductors Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Daniel Oren, Myung-whun Chung, Jaap van Zweden, YAN Liangkun, YANG Hongnian, LÜ Jia, ZHANG Guoyong, LI Xincao, ZHENG Jian and YANG Li; famous singers Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Inva Mula, Juan Pons, Brandon Jovanovich, Francesco Meli, YAN Weiwen, DAI Yuqiang, WEI Song, Warren Mok, YUAN Chenye, LIAO Changyong, ZHANG Yalun, ZHANG Liping, Dilbèr, SUN Xiuwei, HE Hui, YANG Guang and LI Xiaoliang. These masters have given high appraisals to the Chorus. The world-famous tenor Domingo once said, “I am honoured to cooperate with these gifted young artists”; the late conductor Lorin Maazel said, “It is a Chorus of passion”; conductor Daniel Oren, who was excited after rehearsal, said, “This is the chorus that has the best sound I have ever seen. Young as they are, they are better than many of the choruses in Europe”.
As one of China’s leading choruses both in the orchestra pit and concert hall, the NCPA Chorus brings to life fresh and vivid operatic characters one after another with their lavishly expressive singing and passionate theatrical performance, playing an active role in pushing forward the artistic production of National Centre for the Performing Arts. Since its establishment, it has participated in more than 50 operas produced by NCPA, such as opera commissions Xishi, A Village Teacher, The Chinese Orphan, The Beautiful Blue Danube, The Ballad of Canal, Rickshaw Boy, Visitors on the Snow Mountain, Sunrise, The Dawns Here Are Quiet, FANG Zhimin, The Long March and Effendi, and Chinese and foreign classic operas such as The White-Haired Girl, The Red Guards on Honghu Lake, Turandot, Carmen, La Traviata, L'Elisir d'Amore, Tosca, Die Fledermaus, Der Fliegende Hollander, Un Ballo in Maschera, Lohengrin, Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Otello, Nabucco, Le Nozze di Figaro, L'Italiana in Algeri, Il Trovatore, Cavalleria Rusticana & I Pagliacci, Norma, Don Pasquale, Aida, Rigoletto, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Eugene Onegin, Andrea Chenier, Der Rosenkavalier, Simon Boccanegra, Samson et Dalila, La Gioconda, Tannhäuser, Macbeth and Rusalka. Its artistic attainments have won favorable comments from the insiders and audiences.
Apart from operas, the Chorus has also planned and performed in many large-scale vocal works and theme concerts including Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Mahler’s Second, Third and Eighth Symphonies, Verdi’s Requiem, and Concert to Commemorate 110th Anniversary of HUANG Zi’s Birth, the opera concerts such as William Tell, Don Juan, and many politically significant state-level shows including the large-scale music and dance epic Road to Revive, Victory and Peace – Evening Gala to Commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Victory of the World Anti-fascist War and the Counter-Japanese War of the Chinese People, Evening Gala for the G20 2016 Hangzhou Summit and the Gala Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Victory of the Long March. By means of the concerts, the Chorus helps more audiences to have a better understanding of its charm and the artistic spirit of its unremitting efforts.
As the singing envoy of zeitgeist, the Chorus has always been paying attention to fostering audiences, supporting and participating in the artistic education and outreach activities of NCPA. It actively plans and participates in NCPA’s Weekend Concerts, Classic Art Lectures, and appears in schools and communities to help promote high arts, improving people’s aesthetic taste. Meanwhile, the Chorus commits itself to introducing NCPA’s artistic productions and outstanding classic works to audiences at home and abroad. It participated in the tour of NCPA’s opera Visitors on the Snow Mountain in seven provinces and municipalities across China, opera commission Fang Zhimin's tour in Jiangxi Province, the concert version of opera The Red Guards on Honghu Lake in Qingdao and has visited Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macao and other countries and regions for exchanges. The Chorus’s performances have received critical acclaim from the audiences. Especially in 2015, the Chorus went for a 17-day tour of the opera Rickshaw Boy with NCPA to Italy, which was a great success, demonstrating the rich musical expression of the Chorus.
Beijing, in the new century, is full of the prosperous atmosphere of high art. The young artists of the Chorus have devoted their most vigorous strength to the development of China’s chorus and opera, always striving for dream and art.