The National Grand Theater of China, also known as "The Egg", is an opera house in Beijing (People's Republic of China). It opened its doors in June 2007. The French architect Paul Andreu was commissioned to design it. The theater can accommodate up to 6,500 people on its 200,000 m² surface.
As one of the most popular masterpieces created by opera master Verdi, Aida is always favored by worldwide opera lovers - the vivid three-dimensional characterization and passionate melodies. The creative team is joined by Italian set designer Ezio Frigerio and costume designer Franca Squarciapino, who were creative members of NCPA's production of Nabucco.
Aida was premiered in 1871. The plot focuses on the love story between Ethiopian princess Aida and Egyptian hero Radames. At the choice between love and loyalty for defending the country, the couple is indecisive in a dilemma. The opera is full of strong contrast for emotions: Aida loves with infatuation for motherland and Radames, Radames celebrates victory and decides on 'unjust act', and Egyptian princess Amneris has overbearing desire for Radames. The story features plump texture so that people lament for this beautiful love.
In order to achieve accurate representation of regional features and cultural characteristics of the whole storyline, Verdi repeatedly went to museums to watch Egyptian antiquities and asked Egyptian experts for advice. He blends the ancient musical materials into the opera presentation with lively and profound understanding. The grand stage set makes it suitable for outdoor auditoriums.
Mozart and Bruckner with Lü Jia and Sa Chen, was conducted by Chief Conductor of China NCPA Orchestra Lü Jia and presented by renowned pianist Sa Chen with the Orchestra. Mozart's Piano Concerto No.23 in A major, K.488 and Bruckner's Symphony No.2 in C minor were presented.
The concert, The Great: Lü Jia conducts Schubert, was to celebrate the 5th anniversary of China NCPA Orchestra. It was conducted by Chief Conductor the Orchestra Lü Jia and presented by renowned pianist Sa Chen with the Orchestra. Schubert's Symphony No.9 in C major, D 944 (the Great C Major) was presented.
Using Su Shi’s poem of the same name as lyrics and written for Peking Opera style female singer, mixed chorus and symphony orchestra, Jiang Tcheng Tse is a milestone in Qigang Chen’s composition career. In spite of his familiarity with vocal works, this is Mr. Chen’s first chorus composition. Considering the state of mind in which he wrote this, it marks a new start in his composition after he had gone through a tough passage in life and collected his thoughts and sentiments. In this sense this piece is of exceptional significance. Qigang Chen uses his signature orchestral technics in this piece. One can identify the composer by listening to it. It is not simply the traits of the sound and the colors, but also the way they merge so
seamlessly into the nature of the music, leading listeners right into the realm of dreams from the very beginning. The contrast between dream and reality, sweet memories of the past and desolation of the present, constitute the core of Su Shi’s poem, and is the reason why Jiang Tcheng Tse has two choirs: each having their own happiness, but convergence of the two producing heart-breaking sound. That’s an irrevocable sorrow, an irreconcilable conflict between Yin and Yang.
A score like this is naturally demanding for the chorus, but the pitch, the rhythm, the intensity of the sound, the color and the interval all pose extra challenges to the singing. However, because it is human voice instead of instruments, the sounds would reconcile and blend even in the forceful clashes of harmonies, signifying the strong emotional bond between the living and the dead, although forever separated.
We hear lingering affection that is affluent and warm, not gloomy or icy separation.
This reveals the very nature and purpose of the art of chorus.
This live recording of the performance marking the 10th anniversary of the NCPA, presented by the NCPA orchestra and choir under the baton of Mr. LÜ Jia, the music director of the NCPA.