Chen Shi-Zheng is a Chinese-born, New York-based director, internationally renowned for his innovative and provocative staging of operas as diverse as Monteverdi’s ‘Orfeo’, Wagner’s ‘The Flying Dutchman’, and Tang Xianzu’s ‘The Peony Pavilion’. He most recently conceived, wrote and directed a stage production of ‘Monkey-Journey to the West’, executed in collaboration with creators of the virtual rock band Gorillaz and currently on tour. Mr. Chen made his film directorial debut with ‘Dark Matter’, starring Meryl Streep and Liu Ye, winning the Sundance Film Festival’s Alfred P. Sloan Award.
As a child growing up during the Cultural Revolution in Changsha, Hunan Province, he was taught by some of the great masters of Chinese opera. He later became a leading young opera actor, performing until his mid-twenties in many productions throughout China, simultaneously recording albums of folksongs and contemporary pop music. He emigrated to the United States in 1987 and has since developed his own artistic expression, transcending the boundaries between East and West as well as between music, theatre, dance and film. In 2000, Mr. Chen was awarded the title ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’ by the French Ministry of Culture.