Established in January 1955, the China National Peking Opera Company (CNPOC) is a national organisation of performing arts directly under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China. The first President of the CNPOC was the great maestro Mei Lanfang. Today the CNPOC consists of three performance companies, the Stage Art Center and the Mei Lanfang Grand Theatre.
Since its foundation, the company has brought together a large number of outstanding performing artists, playwrights, directors, composers and set designers who enjoy a lofty reputation both at home and abroad, among them Li Shaochun, Yuan Shihai, Ye Shenlan, Du Jinfang, Ajia, Weng Ouhong and Fan Junhong. With its huge number of talents, the CNPOC has emerged as a Peking opera performance organisation with tremendous advantages.
Over the course of sixty years, the CNPOC has inherited, created and staged more than five hundred traditional, newly-written historical and contemporary Peking opera plays with various themes and formats. It has developed an artistic spirit of inheritance, innovation, adaptations from other artistic forms and well-portrayed characters. Moreover, it has created an artistic style with rich content, profound thoughts, various schools and a well-balanced cast.
More than fifty plays and over two hundred members of the CNPOC have won awards in national and international performance competitions. In recent years, it has always been on the list of winners of China’s major cultural awards, such as the Splendor Award (for professional theatrical art works), the Best Works Award, the China Peking Opera Festival Gold Award, Works of Excellence on the Nation’s Stage, the Mei Lanfang Gold Award and the Plum Blossom Award among others.
Cultural exchange is one of the major tasks of the CNPOC. It has been organising performances around the world, visiting over fifty countries and regions on five continents, and has earned an international reputation for excellence. Through these activities, the CNPOC has made contributions to promote Sino-international cultural exchanges as well as enhancing the friendship between the people of China and the people of the world.