NCPA Resident Singers
As an indispensable backbone of the NCPA’s opera production, as well as China’s opera stage, the NCPA Resident Singers, founded in October 2011, stand composed of outstanding opera artists from at home and abroad. As one of the most representative and outstanding teams for interpreting the art of opera, they play a crucial role in about 70 Chinese opera commissions and world classic operas produced by the NCPA. They are a Chinese opera ensemble that has reached the most extensive and deepest cooperation with world-class conductors, directors, singers and stage artists, world-renowned theaters and art institutions, etc. They are also one of the few artist teams managed under professional international standards. Keeping their mission firmly in mind and remaining true to their original aspiration, the singers remain committed to maintaining the high quality of Chinese opera commissions and carrying forward the spirit of Chinese culture by adding the wings of vocal art to the Chinese story. They have toured Turin, Milan, Genoa, Florence, Parma, St. Petersburg, Moscow, and China Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, Nanchang, Urumqi and many other places across the globe.
As leading artists, the NCPA Resident Singers have participated in national cultural performances and international cultural exchanges including A Millennium Promise, a theatrical gala held at the “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation, and A Great Journey, a theatrical performance for celebrating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the CPC. They also sing for the people by giving “100 public-spirited performances” and carrying out art education activities, as a significant part of the “Drip Irrigation Project” designed to popularise elegant art and widen the Chinese audience for opera.
Upholding the tenet of “being for the people, for art, and for the world” and adhering to the principles of leadership, inheritance, innovation, compatibility and openness, the NCPA Resident Singers stand devoted to spreading the art of opera in China and initiating a dialogue with the world through elegant art.
China NCPA Chorus
China NCPA Chorus is the resident chorus of National Centre for the Performing Arts.
China NCPA Chorus was established on December 8th, 2009. WU Lingfen, the famous 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 art, for the world" and is recognized as a vigorous professional chorus with infinite potential.
Since its establishment, it has participated in more than 50 operas 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, Jinsha River, LAN Huahua 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 Holländer, 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 Dalilah, La Gioconda, Tannhäuser, Macbeth, Rusalka, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tristan und Isolde, Falstaff, Thais, La Figlia del Regimento, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Romeo and Juliet, La sonnambula, Don Giovanni, La fanciulla del West, Les Pecheurs de Peries. Its artistic attainments have won favourable 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 the 110th Anniversary of HUANG Zi's Birth, the opera concerts such as William Tell, Don Juan and many politically significant state level performances including large-scale music and dance epic Road to Rejuvenation, 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 Hangzhou Summit, the Gala Commemorating the 80th Anniversary of the Victory of the Long March, the gala "Millennial Road" for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the National Day Celebration Performance Go for the Better, The Sons and Daughters of the Chinese Nation and the opening ceremony of Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games. By means of the concerts, the chorus makes more audiences to understand more of its charm and the artistic spirit of its unremitting efforts.
The masters have given high appraisals to the chorus. 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 heard. Young as they are, they are better than many of the choruses in Europe"; conductor Antonio Pappano said, "This is a youthful and passionate chorus that has been well trained to sound wonderful and harmonious"; the world famous tenor Domingo once said, "I am honoured to cooperate with these gifted young artists".
As the singing envoy of zeitgeist, the chorus has always been paying attention to fostering audience, supporting and participating in the artistic education and popularization activities of NCPA. It actively plans and participates in NCPA's Weekend Concert series, Classic Art Lectures series, and appears in more than 40 public benefit events held in schools, communities, enterprises, militar camps and hospitals every year to help popularize elegant art, so as to improve 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.
Beijing, in the new century, is full of the prosperous atmosphere of elegant art. The young artists of the chorus devote their most vigorous and dynamic youth to the cause of China's opera, and strive for dream and art!
China NCPA Orchestra
China NCPA Orchestra is the resident orchestra of the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), Beijing. Since its founding in 2010, the orchestra has fast established itself as one of the most adventurous and dynamic orchestras in the country and earned an international reputation through extensive performances abroad.
Numerous world-renowned artists have collaborated with the orchestra, including Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Myung-Whun Chung, Christoph Eschenbach, Fabio Luisi, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Leif Segerstam, Gunter Herbig, Shao-Chia Lu, Xian Zhang, Rudolf Buchbinder, Stephen Kovacevich, Khatia Buniatishvili, Lang Lang, Yuja Wang, Haochen Zhang, Kyung-Wha Chung, Vadim Repin, Siqing Lu, NING Feng, Jian Wang, Gautier Capucon, Alison Balsom, Sabine Meyer, Placido Domingo, Leo Nucci, Renee Fleming among many others. Lorin Maazel worked closely with the orchestra before his passing and praised the musicians for their “amazing professionalism and great passion in music”. Christoph Eschenbach also declared it as “one of the finest orchestras in Asia”.
Over the years, the orchestra has gained critical acclaim for its artistic excellence in both concerts and operas. To date they have played in over 60 NCPA opera productions, including classical repertoires such as
Over the years, the orchestra has gained critical acclaim for its artistic excellence in both concerts and operas. To date they have played in over 60 NCPA opera productions, including classical repertoires such as Tristan and Isolde, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Aida, Otello, Nabucco, Tosca, Turandot, The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Eugene Onegin, and newly commissioned works Rickshaw Boy, The Long March, Fang Zhimin, The Jinsha River, Visitors on the Snow Mountain and The Dawns Here Are Quiet. Their live recording of The Ring without Words with its creator, Lorin Maazel, was released on SONY Music worldwide, the only recording the great maestro ever made with an orchestra from China. In 2019, the orchestra’s recording of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 was awarded "Best Orchestral Album" at the 2018 Chinese Audiophile Vinyl Award. In 2021, the NCPAO released Beethoven’s Egmont becoming the first Chinese orchestra to record this masterpiece. In celebration of the decade tenure of its Music Director LÜ Jia, the orchestra released two albums in 2022, including Bruckner's Symphony No. 9 and a selection of live recordings conducted by LÜ Jia In July 2023, the NCPAO released the recording of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 3.
The orchestra has consistently offered creative and diverse programmes through its concert season. As part of its continuous efforts to promote contemporary music, the orchestra presented the China Premieres of major works by John Adams, Toru Takemitsu et al. and gave the World Premieres of dozens of substantial new orchestral works commissioned from composers across the globe, including Qigang Chen, ZHAO Jiping, Michael Gordon, Kalevi Aho, et al. It has also played a significant role in the NCPA's Young Composers Programme, providing a unique platform nurturing the next generation of composers in China.
Alongside its concert series, the orchestra has received widespread praise for its international appearances at the Kissingen Summer Music Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and concerts in many cities in Germany, as well as in Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Daegu, Abu Dhabi, Taipei and Macau. In 2014, the orchestra undertook its first North American tour and returned in 2017, where it performed at Carnegie Hall, Chicago Symphony Center, Davies Symphony Hall and other major venues in the US and Canada, under the baton of LÜ Jia. Musical America praised its “joyful confidence and youthful strength”. Concerto Net described it as “a polished, first rate ensemble”. In 2021, they appeared in "See Me: A Global Concert" along with world-wide artists, orchestras and choirs as part of the Opening Ceremony of the World Economic Forum’s Davos Agenda virtual event. In 2022, the orchestra recorded for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, accompanying billions of viewers to witness the lighting of the Olympic flame. In April 2023, musicians from the orchestra visited South America performing joint concerts with Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra in Brazil and Instituto Superior de Arte de Teatro Colon in Argentina.
With its commitment to educational and outreach activities, the orchestra has presented a series of Weekend Matinee Concerts at its home venue, providing local audience specially selected programmes and accessible ticket prices. The orchestra also frequently initiates wide-reaching educational projects in association with educational institutions across the city. In 2020, the orchestra launched an online concert series in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic drawing an average audience of 30 million viewers. April 2021 saw the orchestra complete their first six-city national tour, which Music Weekly praised as "a series of sophisticated programs in concerts that blew the roof off,” followed by the second national tour in March 2023.
In February 2012, LÜ Jia took up the post of Chief Conductor, succeeding Zuohuang Chen, NCPA’s then Artistic Director of Music as well as a founder of the orchestra. In January 2017, LÜ Jia started serving as NCPA's Artistic Director of Music and the NCPA Orchestra's Music Director. In 2022, LAI Jiajing and SUN Yifan were appointed as assistant conductors.
Jinfan Chorus of Beijing No. 171 Middle School
The Beijing No.171 High School Choir was founded in 1990 and renamed the Beijing No.171 High School Golden Sail Choir in 1999 by the Beijing Municipal Education Commission. In April 2010, the Golden Sail Choir signed a contract with the NCPA, becoming the “NCPA Children’s Chorus Base 171 Golden Sail Choir”.
Under the guidance of SANG Yesong, a national first-class conductor, and XU Dechang, an expert teacher in Beijing, the Choir has attended the Ministry of Education China Art Festival for Primary and Secondary Schools (triennial) on behalf of Beijing for five consecutive times since 1999, winning the Gold Award and First Place each time. The Choir is obligated to give performances on major municipal and national diplomatic and political occasions. Since 2013, it has stood dedicated to singing when the state leaders “present bouquets to the Monument to the People’s Heroes” get held on Tiananmen Square, Beijing. In October 2013, the Choir visited South Korea and performed for the 20th anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between China and South Korea; in October 2014, the Choir accompanied Premier LI Keqiang on his visit to Russia and sang for the “Year of China-Russia Friendship” at the Moscow Kremlin Theatre; in December 2015, the Choir performed for Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers and other honoured guests at the Opening Ceremony of the China-Russia Media Exchange Year held at the Great Hall of the People; in January 2017, the Choir sang Chinese Youth at the Spring Festival Get-Together of the Central Committee of the CPC attended by the Party and state leaders including General Secretary XI Jinping; in May 2017, the Choir made “A Millennium Promise” to more than a hundred state leaders in the theatrical performance given at the “Belt and Road” Forum for International Cooperation; in September 2018, the Choir sang Beijing Welcomes You in the presence of the state leaders and heads of 56 African countries at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation; in December 2018, the Choir delivered a performance at the Evening Party for Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Reform and Opening-up at the Great Hall of the People; in December 2019, the Choir showed contemporary teenagers’ patriotic enthusiasm by singing in the presence of the CPC and state leaders including General Secretary XI at the “New Year Tea Party” of the CPPCC. On October 1st, 2019, 3,000 members of the Choir sang a cantata at the 70th National Day Military Parade; on July 1st, 2021, 3,000 members of the Choir expressed blessings to their motherland and showed loyalty to the CPC as teenagers in the presence of the world, at the Conference for Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the CPC.
As the NCPA Children’s Chorus Base Choir, the Golden Sail Choir holds a public-spirited choral concert at the NCPA every year. The members of the Choir play parts in operas Carmen, Xishi, Tosca, La Bohème, L’elisir d’amore, A Village Teacher, Turandot, etc. The Choir is one of China’s most promising, outstanding and internationally influential art groups composed of young students.