National Center for the Performing Arts
Address: 2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing
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Resembling a giant egg in the middle of a lake, the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) is located in central Beijing and was opened to the public at the end of 2007. A modern cultural and architectural landmark designed by the French architect Paul Andrau (1938-2018), it covers 21.75 hectares and is surrounded by a vast artificial lake and large tracts of greenbelt, constituting an ideal environment with a thriving neighborhood.
As China’s top venue for the performing arts, the NCPA contains four major halls with high-standard facilities. The opera theater, which can hold 2,300 audience members over four storeys, hosts operas, dances and other large comprehensive artistic performances. Its gorgeous interior designs, including the multifunction stage, the raked ballet stage, the elevating orchestra pit, and the cambered walls covered with metal nets, help to create wonderful audiovisual experiences throughout the performances.
As the venue for symphonies, folk music and vocal concerts, the concert hall caters for more than 2,000 audience members with special acoustic designs and other facilities, such as China’s largest pipe organ, a sound diffusion ceiling and uneven walls.
The theater hosts performances of modern dramas, Chinese regional operas and folk songs and dances with nearly 1,000 seats. Furthermore, its full set of stage machinery is one of the best in the world. As the most diversified venue atthe NCPA, the multifunction theater is ideal for small-scale performances of various kinds. The NCPA also strives for art education and popularization by holding regular lectures, themed events and exhibitions.
With the aim of being an important base for leading art troupes, the NCPA has established its own resident chorus, orchestra and group of opera singers, which have collaborated extensively with world-class artists, including Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Plácido Domingo, Francesca Zambello, Vadim Repin, Sabine Meyer, Lang Lang andYuja Wang.
The repertoire of the NCPA covers many world classics and its own original productions, including operas: The Girl of the West, Don Juan, The Marriage of Figaro, The Barber of Seville, Carmen, The Orphan of Zhao, Rickshaw Boy, and The Long March; and plays: The Merchant of Venice, King Lear, A Doll’s House, The Sunrise; and Peking operas: The Red Cliff and Zheng Kaofu.