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NCPA celebrates its sweet 16

By Chen Nan | China Daily | Updated: 2023-11-30 07:48

A scene from the NCPA's production of Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's drama, A Doll's House, on Nov 18. CHINA DAILY

"The NCPA has produced over 100 operas in collaboration with artists from home and abroad. The productions have successfully created a large Chinese fan base," Gong Jicheng, vice-president of the NCPA, said in Beijing on Nov 21 during the unveiling of the monthlong program.

"The story of Sparkling Red Star is popular with Chinese audiences. When we decided to turn it into an opera, we wanted to give the well-known story a new interpretation to appeal to younger audiences," says Gong.

"The first opera production by the NCPA that I performed in was The Ballad of Canal in 2012. Since then, I have performed in more of the venue's opera productions, including this new one, The Wild Rhododendron," says soprano Wang Zhe. "Last year, I became a mother, which began a new chapter of my life. In The Wild Rhododendron, I play the role of Pan Dongzi's mother. I feel very connected to the character."

The NCPA was designed by French architect Paul Andreu. It has been a focus in China for the world's performing arts since it opened in December 2007, and has attracted top international artists and symphony orchestras.

Gong says that over the past 16 years, some 300,000 artists from over 800 performing arts troupes from around the world have performed at the NCPA.And the average number of spectators drawn to the iconic capital venue to enjoy performances during the time has been about 1 million a year.

So far, 103 theatrical productions have been produced by the NCPA, including Chinese operas, musicals, and dramas, Gong adds.

Tenor Wang Kai is a resident singer at the NCPA and will perform in The Wild Rhododendron. He says that after graduating from the China Conservatory of Music in 2008, when the NCPA had just opened, he applied as a singer.

"I have been performing in operas by the NCPA since 2010. It has allowed many young singers like me to grow and gain experience onstage," says Wang Kai, who developed a large fan base after appearing on the hit variety show Super Vocal, produced by Hunan Satellite TV in 2018.

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