First Emperor: An Epic
On the eve of the
reopening of the opera
First Emperor, the Renwen Society at China Institute
presents a special talk by Mr. Peter McClintock, Director at the
Metropolitan Opera House who is on the production team of this epic opera.
In what promises to be the most elaborate Met
production since War & Peace, composer Tan Dun (Crouching
Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Symphony 1997: Heaven Earth
Mankind) creates an epic new opera set in the ancient
court of Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of China.
Plácido Domingo sings the role of the Emperor who unites
China and builds the Great Wall. Paul Groves is Gao Jianli,
the court composer who defies him and seduces Yueyang, the
Emperor’s daughter, sung by Elizabeth Futral.
The production team includes China’s leading film director,
Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers and Hero),
and Academy Award-winning costume designer Emi Wada (Akira
Kurosawa’s Ran). Ha Jin, the National Book
Award-winning novelist, is the co-author of the English
In this talk, Mr. McClintock will share with
the audience his insights and the behind-the-scene anecdotes
in the process of producing this opera. The speaker will
also illustrate his talk with video footage from rehearsals
of this production.
Mr. Peter McClintock has been a Staff Stage
Director with the Metropolitan Opera for over twenty years.
He has worked on over forty-five operas during his time
there. He began the 2007/08 season by assisting director
Adrian Noble on the new production of MACBETH, then went on
to revive WAR AND PEACE, as well as to direct ERNANI and THE
FIRST EMPEROR. He received his B.A. in Theater Arts from
the University of California at Los Angeles, and began his
opera career at the San Francisco Opera. He has also worked
for The Washington National Opera, the Lyric Opera of
Chicago, the Houston Grand Opera, the Kirov Opera in St.
Petersburg, the San Francisco Symphony, the Vancouver Opera,
the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, the Portland Opera, the
San Diego Opera, and the Long Beach Opera. To see a list of
productions he directed, please click
Admissions: Free for Renwen members and $5
Due to limited seats, advance registration
and payment are required. To register and purchase tickets
online, please click the following:
This talk will be in English.
For inquires, please call
212-744-8181 ext. 142 or email
Location: China Institute,
125 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021