Taiwanese musician Wu Ching-lien (吳淨蓮), who has been the chorus master at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam, has been appointed the chorus master of the Opéra National de Paris. The first woman appointed to the position, Wu will take up her post on April 26, 2021, and she will be working with one vice choral conductor, four piano accompanists, and the choir.
Wu indicated that her appointment to the Opéra National de Paris, which currently has the largest opera ensemble in Continental Europe, is both an honor and a challenge.
Opéra National de Paris noted that De Nationale Opera, where Wu has been serving as chorus master since 2014, in 2016 was voted the best opera chorus in the world by 50 international opera critics in Opernwelt, a monthly German magazine for opera, operetta and ballet, signifying the recognition of her leadership.
Wu has extensive experience serving as chorus master at the Grand Théâtre de Genève in Switzerland and the Strasbourg Opera House in France over the past years, before working at De Nationale Opera in Amsterdam.
Wu graduated from the Taipei Girls Normal College. After graduation, she was granted a scholarship and proceeded to study at the Conservatoire National Supérieur Musique et Danse de Lyon in France.
Upon obtaining the certificate, she was offered a full-time job at the Strasbourg Opera House as a chorus master, marking the beginning of her career path abroad. She credits Taiwan's music education with having laid a solid foundation for her endeavors.
"Studying in France and working in Switzerland and the Netherlands have broadened my horizons," Wu said.
Although becoming a chorus master or working at the opera was never part of her plan, Wu indicated that she is always ready to face up to the challenges thrown at her when the time and opportunity arise.
Taking into consideration the enormity of the world and the abundance of talents, one must take firm steps, cultivate one's potential, and wait for the right opportunity, Wu added.
Wu also pointed out the immense challenge of working under a tight daily schedule of rehearsals and performances for different productions at the Opéra National de Paris and the importance of the chorus master's role in bringing out the best potential in each singer.
Expressing her profound affection for Amsterdam, Wu said that she will find time to walk around and keep the memory of this beautiful city, before continuing her music career in Paris.