Yin-Yang Master, official geomancer - Wu Hsing-Kuo
Shaman - Michelle DeYoung
Emperor Qin - Plácido Domingo
Chief Minister - Haijing Fu
General Wang - Hao Jiang Tianv
Princess Yueyang, daughter of the emperor - Sarah Coburn
Mother of Yueyang - Susanne Mentzer
Gao Jianli, a musician - Paul Groves
Guard - Danrell Williams
Principal dancer - Dou Dou Huang
Zheng player - Qi Yao
Conductor: Tan Dun
Legendary tenor, Plácido Domingo stars in the visually stunning opera, The First Emperor, by Academy Award winning composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon) - Filmed live at the Metropolitan Opera.
Commissioned by the MET in the mid-1990s, this spectacular new production was one of the most highly anticipated cultural events of the 2006-07 Metropolitan Opera season.
The Opera tells of Emperor Qin's quest for a national anthem for his new country and his ill-fated decision to force a rebellious but talented young composer to write it. Tragedy results following the composer's love affair with the emperor's crippled daughter, including the deaths of three principal characters. Plácido Domingo, as Emperor Qin, leads an all-star ensemble in this classic story, ideally suited to the opera stage.
The First Emperor combines the expressive power of traditional ancient Chinese singing with the long musical lines of Italian Opera. This juxtaposition of musical cultures illustrates Tan Dun's musical style and influences perfectly. In his music not only East and West but ancient and modern coexist.
Revered Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou (Hero, Raise the Red Lantern) directs and was instrumental in the opera's creation, having worked closely with Tan Dun while he composed the music.
The costumes are designed by Emi Wada, who won an Oscar for her work in the 1986 movie Ran. Over the course of a year and a half, Wada designed over 600 costumes. The quality of Wada's exceptional work is apparent throughout.