|National Centre for the Performing Arts|
|Address||No.2 West Chang'an Avenue, Xicheng District, Beijing|
|Construction started||December 2001|
|Structural system||Ellipsoid dome of titanium and glass surrounded by an artificial lake|
|Floor area||219,400 m2|
|Design and construction|
The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) (simplified Chinese :国家大剧院; traditional Chinese :國家大劇院; pinyin :Guójiā dà jùyuàn; literally: National Grand Theatre), and colloquially described as The Giant Egg (巨蛋), is an arts centre containing an opera house in Beijing, People's Republic of China. Designed by French architect Paul Andreu, the NCPA is the largest theatre complex in Asia. The NCPA is semi-spherical in appearance, with a long axis length of 212.20 meters in the east-west direction, a short axis length of 143.64 meters in the north-south direction, a height of 46.285 meters, an area of 119,900 square meters, and a total construction area of approximately 165,000 square meters, including 105,000 square meters of main buildings and 60,000 square meters of underground, auxiliary facilities, with a total cost of 3.067 billion yuan. There are Opera hall, Music hall, theater and art exhibition halls, restaurants, audio shops, and other supporting facilities.
The exterior of the NCPA is a steel structural shell. It has a semi-ellipsoidal shape. The length of the long axis in the east-west direction of the plane projection is 212.20 m (696.2 ft), the length of the short axis in the north-south direction is 143.64 m (471.3 ft), and the height of the building is 46.285 m (151.85 ft), which is slightly lower than the Great Hall of the People by 3.32 meters. The deepest part of the foundation reaches 32.5 m (107 ft). It is as tall as ten floors. The large theatre shell is made up of more than 18,000 pieces of titanium metal plates, covering an area of more than 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft). Of the more than 18,000 pieces of titanium metal plates, only four are the same shape. The titanium metal plate is specially oxidized, and its surface metallic lustre is very textured and has a consistent colour for 15 years. The middle part is an involute glass curtain wall, which is made up of more than 1,200 pieces of ultra-white glass. The ellipsoidal shell surrounds the artificial lake, with a surface area of 35,500 square meters, all channels and entrances located below the water surface. Pedestrians need to enter the performance hall from an 80-meter underwater passage.
NCPA located on the south side of Chang'an Street, in the heart of Beijing. According to the requirements of Beijing's overall planning, the height of the NCPA cannot exceed the height of the Great Hall of the People(46 meters), but the functional requirements of the NCPA can not be load in the 46-meter space, so it can only develop underground. The underground depth of the NCPA is as tall as ten stories high, and 60% of the building area is underground. It is the most in-depth underground project of public buildings in Beijing. The deepest place is 32.5 meters, which is directly below the stage of the Opera hall. The 17 meters underground of the NCPA is the ancient river channel of the Yongding River in Beijing. The underground of the NCPA contains abundant groundwater. The buoyancy generated by this groundwater can support a giant aircraft carrier weighing 1 million tons. Such tremendous buoyancy is enough to hold up the entire theater. The traditional solution is to pump groundwater out continuously, but the result of pumping groundwater is that a 5-km-wide "groundwater funnel" will be formed underground near the theatre area, causing settlement of surrounding grounds, and even ground buildings may appear crack. To solve this problem, engineers and technicians have conducted a detailed investigation and used concrete to pour an underground wall from the highest water level of the groundwater to the 60-meter underground clay layer. This vast "bucket" formed by subterranean concrete walls can enclose the foundation of the NCPA. The water pump draws the water out of the "bucket" so that no matter how the water pumped in the foundation, the groundwater outside the "bucket" will not be affected, and the surrounding buildings will be safe.
The 6,750-ton steel beam frame made the largest dome. The structure of the NCPA is composed of a single curved steel beam. More than 18,000 pieces of titanium metal plate and more than 1,200 pieces of ultra-white transparent glass form a massive shell of 36,000 square meters. The world's largest dome is not supported by a pillar. The outer layer of the dome coated with nano materials, and when the rain falls on the glass surface, it will not leave water stains. At the same time, nanotechnology also dramatically reduces the adhesion of dust.
To test the noise generated by raindrops falling on the domes with ten football fields, the scientists conducted repeated experiments. Experiments have shown that if effective noise prevention is not carried out, the sound in the entire dome will be like a drum when the rain falls. The anti-noise problem between theater to theater and theater to outside is solved by the use of a technique called "sound gate".
NCPA is surrounded by an artificial lake, although the winter temperatures in Beijing sometimes fall below zero degrees Celsius and the lake does not freeze in the winter. It is achieved by the use of a closed circulation system, the constant temperature groundwater injected into the lake surface, so the water temperature of the artificial lake can be controlled above zero degrees in winter.
The location, immediately to the west of Tiananmen Square and the Great Hall of the People, and near the Forbidden City, combined with the theatre's futuristic design, created considerable controversy.Paul Andreu countered that although there is indeed value in ancient traditional Chinese architecture, Beijing must also include modern architecture, as the capital of the country and an international city of great importance. His design, with large open space, water, trees, was specially designed to complement the red walls of ancient buildings and the Great Hall of the People, in order to melt into the surroundings as opposed to standing out against them.
Internally, there are three major performance halls:
Opera Hall is the most magnificent building in the NCPA, with gorgeous gold colour. Mainly staged opera, dance, ballet, and large-scale performances. The auditorium of the Opera Hall has one floor of a performance pool and three floors of the auditorium. There are 2,207 seats available. The Opera Hall has an advanced stage with push, pull, ascending, descending and turning functions, tiltable ballet table and an elevating pool which can accommodate up to three bands.
The music hall is fresh and elegant, suitable for playing massive symphonies, folk music, and can hold various concerts with 1859 seats (including stand seats). The music hall has the largest organ in the country, which can meet the needs of multiple genres works. Also, the digital wall, the abstract embossed ceiling with modern aesthetics, the GRC wall surface, the turtleback soundboard, and other designs can make the sound spread evenly and gently, making the music hall realize the combination of architectural aesthetics and acoustic aesthetics.
The theater is the most national theater of the NCPA, with Chinese red as the primary colour. Mainly staged dramas, operas, local operas, and other performances. The auditorium has one performance pool and three floors of the auditorium with a total of 1,036 seats (including stand seats). The stage of the Theater has advanced stage machinery and equipment, which can turn unique creation into the reality of performance. Its unique extended lip design is in line with the characteristics of traditional Chinese theatre performances.
The NCPA also distributes filmed and recorded performances of its concerts, plays and operas through the in-house label NCPA Classics, established in 2016.
The initial planned cost of the theatre was 2.688 billion yuan.When the construction had completed, the total cost rose to more than CNY3 billion. The major cause of the cost increase was a delay for reevaluation and subsequent minor changes as a precaution after a Paris airport terminal building collapsed. The cost has been a major source of controversy because many believed that it is nearly impossible to recover the investment. When the cost is averaged out, each seat is worth about half a million CNY. The Chinese government answered that the theater is not a for profit venture.
The government sanctioned study completed in 2004 by the Research Academy of Economic & Social Developmentof the Dongbei University of Finance and Economics, of the upkeep costs of the building were publicized in domestic Chinese media:
The water and electricity bills and the cleaning cost for the external surface would be at least tens of millions CNY, and with another maintenance cost, the total could easily exceed one billion CNY. Therefore, at least 80 percent of the annual operational costs must be subsidized by the government for at least the first three years after the opening, and for the rest of its operational life, at least 60 percent of the annual operational cost must be subsidized by the government.
The director of the art committee of the National Centre for the Performing Arts and the standing committee member of the Standing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Mr Wu Zuqiang (吴祖强) and the publicist / deputy director of the National Centre for the Performing Arts Mr Deng (邓一江) have announced that 70 percent of the tickets would be sold at low price for ordinary citizens, while 10% of the tickets would be sold at relatively expensive prices for separate market segments, and the 60% of annual operating cost needed to be subsidized by the government would be divided between the central government and the Beijing municipal government.
Traditional Chinese opera, or Xiqu, is a form of musical theatre in China with roots going back to the early periods in China. It is an amalgamation of various art forms that existed in ancient China, and evolved gradually over more than a thousand years, reaching its mature form in the 13th century, during the Song dynasty (960–1279). Early forms of Chinese theater are simple, but over time they incorporated various art forms, such as music, song and dance, martial arts, acrobatics, costume and make-up art, as well as literary art forms to become traditional Chinese opera.
The Shanghai Grand Theater is one of the largest and best-equipped automatic stages in the world. Since the theater opened on August 27, 1998, it has staged over 6,000 performances of operas, musicals, ballets, symphonies, chamber music concerts, spoken dramas and various Chinese operas. The site is located at the intersection of Central Boulevard and Huangpi Road South in the northern part of the People's Square in Huangpu District, Shanghai. It is the home of the Shanghai Opera House Company; however, the title "Shanghai Opera House" officially applies to only the performing company and not to the building. The Shanghai Grand Theater is also the resident for other performing companies.
The National Theater and National Concert Hall are twin performing arts venues at Liberty Square in Zhongzheng District, Taipei, Taiwan. Completed in 1987, the landmarks stand on the south and north sides of the square with Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to the east. Together the venues are referred to by the abbreviation NTCH. The square itself sits near Ketagalan Boulevard, site of the Presidential Office Building, the National Central Library, the National Taiwan Museum, and the 228 Peace Memorial Park.
Luju or Lu opera (Chinese: 庐剧; pinyin: Lú jù, formerly known as daoqixi, is a variety of Chinese opera from the east-central province of Anhui, China. Luju's name came from the former name of Hefei, Lu Zhou. In 2006, Luju was regarded as Intangible cultural heritage in China.
Yu Shangyuan was a 20th-century playwright, Chinese drama educationist and theorist. Yu Shangyuan's hometown was in Shashi, Hubei Province, China. His whole family depended on low wages to make a living. However, he enjoyed drama since he was a little boy. Being recommended by Hu Shih and Chen Duxiu, he went to Peking University and graduated from the English department, then, he went to America for further study. As one of the founders of Chinese modern dramas, he made a considerable contribution to dramaturgical theory. His main achievements are his contribution to the development of "the Chinese drama movement" and his representative works: Syllabus of Performing Arts.
The Chinese Orphan is a 2011 Chinese-language western-style opera by woman composer Lei Lei to a libretto by Zou Jingzhi. The plot is based on the story The Orphan of Zhao. The premiere was at Beijing's NCPA in 2011. The international premiere was at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre Grand Theatre in March 2012. A documentary relating to the commissioning of the opera and with excerpts from rehearsals was one of the first releases of the NCPA's own in house audio and video company in 2017.
The Ballad of [the] Canal or The Canal Ballad is a 2012 opera by composer Yin Qing based on Chinese folk music. The libretto was supplied by playwrights Huang Weiruo and Dong Ni and celebrates the story of the Beijing-Hangzhou Grand Canal, the longest canal in the world. The opera premiered at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (China) in 2012. The use of Chinese folk music was a departure from the NCPA's previous western-influenced Chinese-language operas. NCPA's in house audio visual company released a making of documentary including footage of rehearsals in July 2017.
Shanghai Opera House is the official government-funded western-style opera company of Shanghai, China, and the resident opera company at the new Shanghai Grand Theatre. Although the term "Opera House" is often applied to the building, both in English and Chinese texts, officially the building is not an opera house and the term "Shanghai Opera House" properly applies only to the performing company, not the building, as is also true for its senior sister company, the China National Opera House (CNOH) in Beijing. The reason for the distinction is found in that the Chinese character Yuan (院) applies primarily to a school or institute or dramatic troupe rather than the building in which a school, institute or dramatic company resides.
Diàoyúchéng (钓鱼城) is a 2012 Chinese-language western-style opera based on the story of the siege of Diaoyu Fortress during the Mongol conquest of the Song Dynasty, and the resistance of the brothers Ran Jin and Ran Pu. The work was produced by staff of Chongqing Opera. Music was collectively composed by Xu Zhanhai (徐占海) Zheng Bing (郑冰) and Wang Hua (王华) to a libretto by Feng Boming (冯柏铭) and Feng Bilie (冯必烈). It will be performed at the CHNCPA in May 2013.
The National Theater of China or National Theater Company of China, based in Beijing, is China's national theatrical company, founded on December 25, 2001 with the merger of China National Youth Theater and China National Experimental Theater.
The China National Center for the Performing Arts Orchestra is a Chinese orchestra based in Beijing. It is the resident orchestra of the National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) located in the Xicheng District of Beijing. The NCPA Orchestra and its related organization, the China NCPA Chorus (国家大剧院合唱团), serve primarily as the resident musical ensembles of the NCPA, supporting opera and ballet productions at the theater.
Tianjin Grand Theatre, also known as the Tianjin Cultural Centre Grand Theatre, is located on the east side of the Tianjin Cultural Centre, Hexi District, Tianjin City, People's Republic of China. It is the largest venue in the Tianjin Cultural Centre. Designed by German GMP architectural company, the theatre adopts the style of modernist architecture. The construction of the Tianjin Grand Theatre started in 2009, completed and put into use on April 22, 2012. Its total construction space amounts to 105,000 m². The theatre can seat 3,600 people, and costs 1.533 billion RMB in total.
Zhu Shaoyu in a Chinese composer. His opera You and Me was staged at the China's National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in 2013.
Rickshaw Boy or Camel Xiangzi is a 2014 Chinese contemporary classical opera by Guo Wenjing to a libretto by Xu Ying after Lao She's Rickshaw Boy. It was premiered at the NCPA, China in June 2014. NCPA Classics released both a DVD recording of the opera, and also a separate making-of documentary entitled Xiángzi de yǒngtàn in 2017.
Visitors on The Icy Mountain is a Chinese contemporary classical opera composed by Lei Lei after the plot and songs of the 1963 film of the same name.
Sunrise (日出) is a 2015 Chinese contemporary classical opera by Jin Xiang to a libretto by Wan Fang after her father Cao Yu's 1936 play of the same name. Jin Xiang had previously cooperated with Wan Fang to set another of her father's plays as the opera The Savage Land.
You and Me is a modern Peking opera by composer Zhu Shaoyu. Staged by Zhang Yimou, directing his first Peking opera, the show premiered at the National Centre for the Performing Arts, China (NCPA) in 2013. A 2014 performance of the opera was released on DVD by NCPA Classics in China, and Accentus overseas.
Fang Zhimin is a Chinese opera by composer Meng Weidong to a libretto by Feng Baiming and Feng Bilie based on the life of communist martyr Fang Zhimin. The 2015 opera was the ninth Chinese opera commission for NCPA. The NCPA released a making-of DVD featuring the dress rehearsal to the production in 2017.
Xiju, also known as Wuxi opera, is a genre of opera which originated in the southern region of the Yangtze River Delta in China. It evolved from "Tanhuang" (滩簧), a folk opera art in the region of Wuxi and Changzhou of Jiangsu province. As one of the main local operas in Jiangsu Province, Wuxi opera has been reputed as "a piece of plum flower in Taihu Lake", a title given to the three major operas in East China, alongside Yue opera and Huangmei opera.
You Hongfei is a soprano at the China National Opera and a National A-class Performer of China (国家一级演员).
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