WANDERING IN THE ART WORLD: Tens of thousands of visitors go to the National Center for the Performing Arts on December 22, its open day (LUO XIAOGUANG)
On the night of December 19, 2009, a concert at the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) raised the curtain on the celebrations of the second anniversary of this artistic sanctuary.
The musical proceedings opened with Antonin Dvorak's Carnival Overture, fitting indeed for the jovial aura—and tone, of course—surrounding the packed concert hall.
China's young Li Chuanyun assumed the stage to give a heartfelt rendition of Chinese composer Huang Anlun's The Violin Concerto in B minor. Tchaikovsky's Symphony No.4 brought a moving end to the production. Chen Zuohuang, Art Director of the NCPA, wielded the baton.
From December 19 to 28, a series of other performances graced the stage at the NCPA including many outstanding artists from around the world—many of whom have also enjoyed the stage of the NCPA over the past two years.
"When it first opened on December 22 of 2007, it attracted swarms of people, and some doubted how long its popularity could last," said Chen Ping, head of the NCPA in an interview with Guangming Daily. "Now, after two years, it remains the most popular place for people to enjoy the performing arts."
Since its first performance in 2007, the NCPA has offered a broad range of high-quality, high-class art pieces and built up a major platform for the communication of Chinese performing arts and that of many other countries around the globe.
In all, more than 10,000 artists from 45 countries have come to the NCPA to give performances in the past two years.
An artistic destination
DRAMA QUEENS: Visitors learn Peking Opera with teachers from National Academy of Chinese Theater Arts in the National Center for the Performing Arts on December 22 (LUO XIAOGUANG)
The NCPA was built for the people, for the world and for art. This is the principle before it was open, said Chen. So far, he added, it has worked lyrically, among other ways.
This can be seen in its box office receipts. In 2008, some 930,000 NCPA tickets were sold with returns of 310 million yuan ($45.4 million). This represents just under half of all box office revenues of all performing venues in Beijing which totaled 610 million ($89.4 million).
Located in downtown Beijing, the NCPA has attracted 3.836 million visitors in the past two years, including visitors for the exhibitions and for the performances.
Since 2007, the NCPA has produced some exquisite operas as well, including La Boheme and drama Jane Eyre.