Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The First Emperor

Managed to score some free tickets to the screening of the world premiere of Tan Dun's The First Emperor at Hayden Orpheum. The Orpheum is set to screen the Metropolitan Opera's 2008/2009 season productions in HD.

GF dropped by to pick me up from the office, then we went to Cremorne. The sandwiches she brought along didn't do the trick, so we had a quick dinner at the Chinese restaurant beside the theatre.

This is the first time I've been to Orpheum. The Art Deco interior of the theatre is quite nice. The First Emperor is not. Even the famous Placido Domingo can't save it. The costumes and sets are lavish, but that does not a good opera make. The storyline is pretty dull, the music is awfully boring, and the lines are just plain silly. What do you expect - the libretto is written (in English) by Tan Dun himself. The same Tan Dun who composed the music for this opera (and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). The equally famous Zhang Yimou directs.

It was so bad, I spotted a few people leaving in a matter of minutes. GF and I were a bit more discreet. We left after Act 1. Back in Burwood, we had another dinner at the Canton Noodle House.

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