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NCPA August Chorus Festival 2021 to be unveiled

Source: NCPAJuly/29/2021

From August 3rd to 21st, the NCPA August Chorus Festival 2021 will take place as scheduled. During the 19-day festival, 23 artistic groups from different ethnic groups and regions of China will present 13 spectacular choral concerts. On July 28th, a press conference for the festival was held at the NCPA. WANG Luli, Deputy Director of the NCPA's Programme Management Department, WU Lingfeng, a famous choral conductor, Yalungerile, conductor of the Inner Mongolia Youth Choir, and LIU Xiaogeng, Artistic Director of the Poya Song Book Choir, were in attendance and introduced the programmes and highlights of the festival.

China is a multi-ethnic country with 56 ethnic groups. The Chinese ethnic minorities are adept at singing and dancing, with musical genes running through their veins. They sing on many occasions, whether they are visiting friends and relatives, attending a festive gathering, hosting a wedding or funeral, hunting and herding, or doing farm work. Their songs serve as a true reflection of their lives and glorious microcosm of their cultures.

The NCPA August Chorus Festival 2021 is entitled, "Sound of Nature", featuring ten choral groups from the Yi, Zhuang, Naxi, Dong, Mongolian, Nu, Lisu, Tibetan, Lahu and Kazak ethnic minorities and 31 folk art inheritors. The performers will present traditional folk songs including the Poya love songs of Zhuang nationality and Dong minority choruses. Their repertoires cover 12 of China’s national intangible cultural heritages, of which the Dong minority choruses and Mongolian long tune have been selected into the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List. In addition to singing, these art groups will play traditional ethnic instruments such as the Morin khuur and dombra to showcase the cultural appeal of Chinese ethnic groups.

In the Multiethnic Children's Choir Concert on August 10th, the "Little Golden Tree" Children's Choir of Shenzhen Concert Hall and the "Over the Rainbow" Naxi Children’s Choir will join hands with famous folk musicians Moxizishi and Atieshuori to present wonderful folk music. The performance will feature a stunning lineup of 150 people. The Inner Mongolian Youth Choir, whose members come mostly from farming and herding families on the Inner Mongolian grasslands, will present Mongolian choral songs on August 12th to express their love for the grasslands through their ethereal voices. The choral concerts on 18th and 19th are specially curated choral feasts featuring five primitive choral groups from the ethnic minorities of southwest China and ten intangible cultural heritage inheritors. They will present their unique cultures with the purest and most sincere voices.

Chinese folk songs boast a long history, and many professional choirs have included folk songs in their repertoires. These folk songs have been refined and developed over time; after being adapted by composers, their lyrics have become more polished, vivid and evocative, their tunes more perfect, and they have been given new artistic value by such performances as multi-part choral singing.

In this year's chorus festival, the NCPA Chorus, the Beijing Philharmonic Choir, the Jinfan Chorus of Beijing No. 171 Middle School and TianKong Choir of the Central China Normal University will also render folk songs with diverse styles from different regions and ethnic groups. The fusion of choral art and folk songs will give folk songs a new appeal, allowing the songs full of rustic charm to spread through the power of choral art.

The 24 solar terms are the essence of ancient Chinese wisdom, reflecting traditional Chinese culture and way of life in harmony with nature. Vocalist GONG Linna and composer Lao Luo have composed a series of works based on ancient Chinese poems related to the 24 solar terms. On August 15th, they will give a choral concert featuring a dozen pieces. All the poems chosen are time-honouring masterpieces, which will deliver exceptional enjoyment to the audience.
Western operas have also given birth to many popular choral classics. On August 6th, the China National Opera House Chorus will present some of the most beloved choral excerpts from operas such as Il Trovatore, Rigoletto and Carmen.
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