A Discussion on Tan Dun’s The First Emperor

At Columbia University’s World Leaders Forum, a video of the roundtable discussion of the Metropolitan Opera’s The First Emperor.

A roundtable discussion with Columbia faculty and the distinguished artists who are collaborating on the production of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor, which has its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on December 21.

In what promises to be the most elaborate Met production since Prokofiev’s War and Peace, composer Tan Dun creates an epic new opera set in the ancient court of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. The First Emperor is a story of love, power and betrayal. Legendary tenor Plácido Domingo sings the role of the emperor.

  • Tan Dun, composer, conductor and co-librettist (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Tea; The Map: Concerto for Cello, Video and Orchestra; Water Passion after St. Matthew)
  • Zhang Yimou, film director (House of Flying Daggers; Hero; Raise the Red Lantern)
  • Ha Jin, National Book Award-winning novelist and co-librettist of The First Emperor (Waiting; War Trash)
  • Lydia Liu, professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature and author (The Clash of Empires: The Invention of China in Modern World Making)
  • James Schamus (program moderator), screenwriter, film producer and film executive (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; The Ice Storm; Brokeback Mountain)