NCPA Opera Festival 2012
Venue: National Centre for the Performing Arts - Opera House
Dates: May 24, 2012-May 27, 2012
Composer: Giuseppe Verdi
Libretto: Antonio Somma
Conductor: Lu Jia
Director: Hugo De Ana
Original Set Design: Hugo De Ana
Costume Design: Hugo De Ana
Lighting Design: Vinicio Cheli
Choreographer: Leda LoJodice
The Un Ballo in Maschera is adapted based on the story of assassination for King Gustav III of Sweden in the 18th century. Through fictional odd story, the opera reveals Amelia's ambivalence when pursuing extramarital romantic love and safeguarding husband dignity, and rolls out the real high life of Italy in the 18th century. Un Ballo in Maschera, La forza del destino and Don Carlo are crowned as the three major masterpieces created by Verdi in his mid-life. Un Ballo in Maschera can be described as Verdi's most talented work in terms of music, which not only consists of many classical arias, but also achieves the culmination of the Romantic opera from the perspective of art. This work truly achieves grand and magnificent realm in view of drama contents and musical charm.
NCPA's production of Un Ballo in Maschera specially invites top production team headed by renowned opera director Hugo De Ana. Hugo often cooperates with La Scala, Rossini Opera House and Verona Opera House, who frequently presents himself in world-class opera houses. His stage sets and visual presentation are highly reputed in the circle, which are appreciated by the opera lovers all over the world.
In terms of cast, the internationally-renowned Chinese soprano He Hui will return to China and dedicate to this opera for the first time, who is a heavy weight making her opera debut in NCPA. In addition, world-class baritone Lado Ataneli and tenor Marius Marea will also join in NCPA's production. Chinese vocalists Liao Changyong and Dai Yuqiang also show the most luxurious 'dream team' of Chinese opera singers for all audiences.
NCPA Chorus was established on December 8, 2009, whose members were carefully selected from famous music schools in and out of China. Now the Chorus has Wu Lingfen as the conductor, with many artists well-known in China and abroad giving instructions. Affiliated to NCPA, the highest palace of performing arts in China, the Chorus adheres to NCPA's guiding principles of 'for the people, for the arts, and for the world'. The Chorus mainly stages operas and concerts, and also takes part in kinds of cultural communication events.
The Chorus presented its debut performance in NCPA Opera Festival 2010, and has taken part in and gained critical acclaim from the performances of NCPA's Xi Shi, Carmen, La Traviata, L'elisir d'amore, Turandot, A Village Teacher, Tosca, Die Fledermaus, and The Chinese Orphan. As NCPA's resident chorus, it took part in Turandot (NCPA version) on the tour to Seoul Arts Center in January 2011 and gained high praise.
The Chorus has offered a great number of performances including Road to Revive, To the Music (debut), Roam About the Classics, To Our Motherland-- NCPA Chorus Concert for the Army Day, Arias of Love, Beethoven's ninth symphony, and Mahler's second symphony.
The Chorus has cooperated with top artists like directors Francesca Zambello and Giancarlo del Monaco; conductors Lorin Maazel, Lu Jia, and Li Xincao; singers Inva Mula, Juan Pons,Brandon Jovanovich, Dai Yuqiang, Warren Mok, Zhang Yalun, Zhang Liping, Sun Xiuwei, and Liang Ning. Its over-one-hundred performances have taken an active role in the further development of NCPA.
China NCPA Orchestra
China NCPA Orchestra was established in March 2010. As the orchestra in residence of the National Centre for the Performing Arts of China, the orchestra performs regularly in NCPA's busy schedule of operas, ballets and concerts to great acclaim. Maestro Lu Jia is the orchestra's Principal Conductor. One of the founders of the orchestra, NCPA's Music Artistic Director, Maestro Chen Zuohuang is honored as the orchestra's Laureate Conductor. The orchestra also engages Singaporean conductor Joshua Kang Ming Tan as the Resident Conductor. The orchestra performs more than a dozen operas and ballets every year, together with about 30 symphonic concerts by the name of China NCPA Concert Hall Orchestra.
China NCPA Orchestra keeps an international standard for its arts quality and management. The musicians are from various countries and regions, and most of them have experience from working or studying in Europe or North America. Many artists have worked with this orchestra, including Maestro Lorin Maazel, Maestro Christoph Eschenbach, and soloists such as Stephen Kovacevich, Wang Yuja, Han-Na Chang, Leo Nucci, etc. Maestro Lorin Maazel has appeared with the orchestra in several operas and concerts, in his view it is 'an excellent, hard-working orchestra with great passion.' The orchestra keeps close working relationships with Maestro Maazel and Maestro Eschenbach.
In 2011, China NCPA Orchestra has won acclaim for its performances in NCPA's new productions of Tosca, The Barber of Seville, Die Fledermaus, and a newly composed opera The Chinese Orphan. At the same time, the orchestra was also deeply involved in NCPA's 2011 Gustav Mahler Cycle. Under the batons of maestros including Christoph Eschenbach, Yoel Levi and Jun Maerkl, the orchestra performed Mahler's Symphonies No. 1, 2, 3, 8 and 10. In this year the orchestra has also performed two concerts of contemporary music, with works from Takemitsu, Giya Kancheli, and a group of young Chinese composers. Mr. Kancheli himself attended the concert featuring his work.
Devoted to educational and outreach activities, China NCPA Orchestra has presented a series of Weekend Matinee Concerts since its establishment. With specially selected repertoire, performances of high quality and extremely low ticket prices, these concerts have won great acclaim from both audience and critics.
In the coming year 2012, China NCPA Orchestra will perform in NCPA's productions of The Flying Dutchman and Lohengrin. A notable list of artists including Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Roger Norrington, Yan Pascal Tortelier, and Rudolf Buchbinder will perform with the orchestra for the first time, and Maestro Christoph Eschenbach will also return to give multiple concerts. Various tours are also under preparation currently.
NCPA aims to build a world-class orchestra with operation and management conforming to global practices while incorporating Chinese characteristics.
Ricardo is preparing for a dancing party. He invites his good friend Renato's wife Amelia because he loves her. His servant Oscar warns Ricardo that someone will plot to murder. But Ricardo doesn't take mind and he even laughs at the prophecy of witch Ulrika.
At first, Ulrika secretly interviews with Amelia in her hut. Amelia needs a secret recipe to be able to forget Ricardo. Then, Ulrika tells Ricardo (who is disguised to request for fortune-telling) that he would die at the hands of a friend.
Amelia comes alone to the guillotine to search for forgetting grass at midnight and Ricardo follows her. Both express their love each other. At this point, Renato rushes to notify Ricardo to beware of the assassin. Renato also promises to lead masked Amelia to arrive at a safe place instead of Ricardo. However, the assassin forces Amelia to reveal her identity. Ashamed and angry Renato makes decision to jointly revenge with the assassin. In the Governor's dancing party, Renato assassinates Ricardo, but Ricardo feel remorseful for a long time, and gets ready to help Renato and Amelia jointly return to the United Kingdom. But the big mistake is still made. Before death, Renato proves that Amelia is innocent and forgives all people concerned.