After gathering folk songs in the villages of his native China
and planting rice he played music on the streets of New York to buy
And now composer Tan Dun, 49, is making his New York
Metropolitan Opera debut.
The First Emperor with Placido Domingo in the title
role, a production with a reported cost of around US$3 million, has
its world premiere tonight.
Tan is no stranger to success winning an Oscar in 2001 for the
music for the martial arts fantasy Crouching Tiger, Hidden
Dragon. His other compositions include The Map, a
cello concerto written for Yo-Yo Ma and the score for the 2002
movie Hero with violin solos by Itzhak Perlman.
But The First Emperor — the story of betrayal involving
a conqueror, his daughter and a court composer two millennia ago —
will be another leap forward for Tan who'll conduct all nine
performances in January.
(CRI December 21, 2006)