For cast lists, please visit the Opera Series Overview.
Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts Opera Company debuts in the 2022 WFMT Opera Series as a part of our ongoing partnership with the world-renowned Chinese arts organization. The set of 8 operas is split into two parts, from late September to mid-October, and closing out the series from mid-November into early December.
NCPA Production, the organization’s Opera Company, is at the heart of NCPA’s artistic creation and is an important embodiment of the organization’s mission. Since its inception in 2008, the Opera Company has produced a great number of high-quality operas popular with audiences, showing its vitality and unique characteristics as an art production institution. In addition to masterworks of the Western canon, a cornerstone of NCPA Production’s identity is promoting the development of new and traditional Chinese opera art. The training and performance programme of NCPA Resident Singers was launched on October 21st, 2011. Adhering to the NCPA principle of “for the people, for art, for the world”, NCPA resident singers have performed in many operas, winning high acclaim from conductors and directors at home and abroad. So far, NCPA resident singers have put on over 60 operas in collaboration with many well-known Chinese and foreign artists including maestros Zubin Mehta, Lorin Maazel, Valery Gergiev, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniel Oren, ZHANG Guoyong, YU Long, LI Xincao, ZHANG Yi and ZHANG Xian. The company has worked with renowned directors such as Francesca Zambello, Giancarlo Del Monaco, Elijah Moshinsky, Yannis Kokkos, Hugo De Ana, Gilbert Devereux, Stefano Poda, CHEN Xinyi, CAO Qijing, ZHANG Jigang, LIAO Xianghong, WANG Xiaoying, LI Liuyi, TIAN Qinxin and YI Liming.
Part 1: September 17, 2022 – October 8, 2022
The first set of NCPA productions begins with Bizet’s impeccable Les pêcheurs de perles (The Pearl Fishers), starring Olga Peretyatko in the role of Leila alongside Francesco Demuro as Nadir, Alfredo Daza as Zurga, and Paul Gay as Nourabad. Dvořák’s fantastical Rusalka follows, with a stunning cast of Chinese artists that includes ZHOU Xiaolin in the titular role with Ladislav Elgr as the Prince, with GUO Yanyu (Jezibaba), KE Luwa (Foreign Princess), and more. Next is a stunning production of The Merry Widow by Lehár, with SONG Yuanming as Hanna Glawari, Thomas Laske as Count Danilo, Sarah Zhai Strauss as Valencienne, and SHI Yijie as Camille de Rosillon. For the final opera in this first set of NCPA productions, we’re especially excited to present a work by Chinese composer HAO Weiya titled A Village Teacher, likely the first time the production has been heard on US radio!
A Village Teacher tells about a touching story of female teacher YANG Caihong (performed by ZHOU Xiaolin) who dedicates her life to education undertaking in poverty-stricken mountainous region. Through the perspective of the protagonists’ ups and downs, the opera gives insight into people’s common emotional conflicts and life confusions, and wrestles with the opposition between idealism and reality, love and betrayal, sacrifice and dedication. Poetic expression, warm music and beautiful idyllic scenes make this work a touching, intimate portrayal of the human condition. The cast includes WANG Hexiang, KOU Jing, ZHANG Wenqin, WANG Lei, and GUAN Zhijing.
Part 2: November 12, 2022 – December 3, 2022
The second set of NCPA productions begins on November 12 with Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette with Mélissa Petit and Francesco Demuro in the title roles. Next is Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, starring Bruno Pratico as Don Pasquale, with Ekaterina Bakanova as Noria, SHI Yijie as Ernesto, and more. Verdi’s Falstaff is next, featuring Roberto de Candia in the title role, with Rachele Stanisci as Alice, Filippo Polinelli as Ford, and more. Finally, the 2022 Opera Series comes to a close with Donizetti’s fabulous L’elisir d’amore with Serena Gamberoni in the role of Adina alongside Francesco Meli as Nemorino, LIU Songhu as Belcore, Enzo Capuano as Dr. Dulcamara, and MA Min as Ganeta. It’s a thrilling set of productions, and a real privilege to share these exceptional performances with US radio audiences!
About the Host
Lisa Flynn has been a program host and producer for WFMT since 1991. She presents The New Releases and has hosted many programs for the WFMT Radio Network, including War Letters (which won the 2002 Peter Lisagor Award) and a series of live broadcasts from Salzburg to celebrate Mozart’s 250th birthday in 2006. As WFMT’s midday weekday announcer, Lisa hosts live studio performances and interviews guest artists including Renée Fleming, John Adams, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, John Eliot Gardiner, and many others. Before coming to Chicago, Lisa presented classical music at WOSU in Columbus, Ohio, and at WMFE and WUCF in Orlando, Florida. She holds a music degree from the University of Central Florida.
This program is a part of the WFMT Radio Network Opera Series, a series designed to complement the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts to fill out the year with great Opera content. The series begins in June and lasts until December.