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International Chair in Opera, Maestro Xu Zhong returns to RWCMD

Maestro Xu Zhong, RWCMD's International Chair in Opera, renowned conductor and President of the Shanghai Opera House, was invited by the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the Royal Welsh College to visit the United Kingdom recently.

Maestro Xu returned to Cardiff for the first time since his RWCMD appointment in 2021, to discuss plans for the WNO Opera Gala this December with Principal Professor Helena Gaunt, Tim Rhys-Evans, Director of Music and James Southall, Music Director of RWCMD's David Seligman Opera School.

By coincidence, 2024 marks the 75th anniversary of both the College and the People's Republic of China. As part of its celebrations the College has invited Maestro Xu to conduct its winter Opera Gala, a joint artistic project between RWCMD and Welsh National Opera.

Xu Zhong’s International Chair role supports the College in exploring and extending its international collaboration and student recruitment, and creating more opportunities for students from the West to connect with China and the rest of the world through the arts. Reflecting this, both western and eastern elements will be incorporated into the Opera Gala’s repertoire.

‘The art of singing is a positive factor that best advances the culture exchange between our two countries.

I am very much looking forward to my artistic co-operation with RWCMD and WNO later this year, working with all the excellent students and musicians, as well as the two singers from Shanghai Opera House, Song Qian and Yu Haolei, who will be making a guest appearance.’
Maestro Xu

‘I am delighted to welcome Maestro Xu Zhong back to the College, and to invite him back this December to conduct our WNO Opera Gala, which would be an excellent showcase of international artistic synergy, incorporating Wales as a distinctive, creative force,’ said Principal Helena Gaunt.

While he was in the UK Maestro Xu also met with Alex Beard, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House in London to discuss plans to work together in the future.

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