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Tan Dun's New York Metro Debut
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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 food.   

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)

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