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What Has Tan Dun?

Well, you’re too late for the $550 Center Parterre Premium seats or the $350 Orchestra Premium seats for tonight’s premiere of Tan Dun’s The First Emperor at the Met but if you hurry it looks like you can still grab one of the bargain $250 orchestra seats.  (I have a couple of mere $80 seats in the alpine section later.) 

In the meantime, us poor people can read about the Mr. Tan’s opera foo young in the Met blog or perhaps lurk at the stage door for a glimpse of Placido Domingo or Elizabeth Futral or maybe even the great film director Zhang Yimou (To Live, Raise the Red Lantern, Hero, House of Flying Daggers), making his Met debut.  Maybe he’s made up with Gong Li.  Maybe she’ll be there.  Hey, I may go and stand outside myself.  


Comment from Elodie Lauten
Time: December 21, 2006, 1:42 pm

Tan Dun uptown, Robert Ashley downtown: see my current blog.
Elodie Lauten

Comment from Steve Layton
Time: December 21, 2006, 1:57 pm

The Ashley’s waaaaay cheaper, and stands a better chance of being listened to/talked about 10 or 20 years down the road than the Tan Dun. It’s a no-brainer where to plunk down your money & show up!

Comment from Bruce Hodges
Time: December 21, 2006, 3:51 pm

I’ll be there on Dec. 26, too. (And missing the Robert Ashley, alas.) I did see a preview of the Tan Dun a few days ago and thought it was quite intriguing (at least, Act I, Scene 1), perhaps due to director Zhang Yimou. I particularly liked the Chinese percussionists onstage – 12 of them – all playing drums using pairs of stones, and a singing “narrator” who is apparently one of China’s biggest stars.

Comment from Daniel
Time: December 21, 2006, 5:01 pm

I will be able to see “The First Emperor” live in High Definition at my local movie theatre (

Comment from Aaron
Time: December 22, 2006, 10:41 am

Btw, Jerry … if NPR was pronouncing his name right yesterday in their feature on the new opera (“Tahn Doon”), your joke doesn’t make quite as much sense. Can anyone confirm?

Comment from andrea
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:27 am

ashley’s joint doesn’t go up until january 17th, so if you’ve got something to do on dec 26, i doubt it’ll conflict… =)

Comment from Daniel
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:28 am

It is phoenetically [tan doon], but I still think your joke is funny Jerry. Aaron, were you the guy at newmusicbox with the comment about “Messiah” – Part One?

Comment from andrea
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:28 am

oh, and i’ve had a sneak peak at the ashley libretto. some great stories…

Comment from andrea
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:29 am

the joke makes sense if you read the whole thing in a scottish brogue.

Comment from jodru
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:46 am

Seems to me, as winners of the Deems Taylor etc, S21 could have made a real enough case for some press passes to review the sucker.

Comment from mattvb
Time: December 22, 2006, 11:55 am

Just got my ticket for the Union Square ‘showing.’ Such a good idea — full list of theaters around the country HERE. Tix available at Fandango! Cheap! No opera glasses!

Comment from Mell Csicsila
Time: December 22, 2006, 3:13 pm

Thanks for the heads up on the movie theatre simulcasts. At this point, January 13 is open, so it looks like a good idea (there are three theatres in my area participating? Wow!)

Comment from Jerry Bowles
Time: December 22, 2006, 5:29 pm

Think of how shocked I was when my Hungarian friend Peter Vidor referred to some composer named “Bar-took.”

Comment from Aaron
Time: December 22, 2006, 7:06 pm

Must admit, I was quite surprised to hear that pronunciation on NPR, myself. I don’t think I’ve ever heard it that way from friends or colleagues. But, then again, among those friends & colleagues are people who still don’t get that Tan is the family name and Dun the given name, so …