Tan Dun’s Peony Pavilion

Tan Dun’s Peony Pavilion

From November 29 to December 2, 2012, in a major program devoted to Chinese Garden Culture, celebrated composer Tan Dun’s updated version of the 16th-Century Kunqu opera masterpiece “Peony Pavilion” starring Zhang Jun, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Artist for Peace, will be performed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Astor Court. Co-produced by The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the US China Cultural Institute (USCCI), it will be a highlight of the Metropolitan Museum’s eight-gallery exhibition “Chinese Gardens: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats” now on view.   By staging the Peony Pavilion in the Astor Court, which is situated at the center of the exhibition galleries, the Museum is seeking to introduce new ways of integrating the fine arts with the performing arts as a way of further enriching the cultural experience of its audience.

Tan Dun’s Peony Pavilion

This is the first time that an operatic performance has taken place in the Astor Court—the first authentic Ming-styled garden court constructed outside of China. Modeled on a courtyard in the Master of the Fishing Nets garden in Suzhou, the Astor Courtwas built at the Metropolitan Museum thirty-two years ago by a team of twenty-six Chinese craftsmen. It represents one of the first cultural exchanges between the United States and the People’s Republic of China.

Shirley Young

On November 29, a special VIP evening was hosted by Shirley Young, USCCI Chair, Hans d’Orville, Assistant Director General for Strategic Planning, UNESCO, and Ambassador Li Baodong, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations.

Peony Pavilion” starring Zhang Jun and Zhang Ran

The evening had a private viewing of the eight-gallery exhibition, Chinese Garden: Pavilions, Studios, Retreats, a conversation with Tan Dun and Maxwell K. Hearn, Douglas Dillon Curator in Charge of the Department of Asian Art, a “Peony Pavilion” performance in the Astor Court, and a high-definition simulcast to Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium, followed by a Gala reception with Tan Dun, Zhang Jun and other artists at The Temple of Dendur in The Sackler Wing.

Itzhak Perlman (one of the preeminent violinists of the century) and Lucia Hwong (a composer and instrumentalist)

The public premiere of the Peony Pavilion performance in the Astor Court took place on November 30 and was followed by 4 additional performances on Dec 1 and 2 (sold out) plus a live high-definition simulcast of the performance to the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium on November 30. The webcast of the Friday, November 30 performance at 7:00pm will be live-streamed on the Met’s website, www.metmuseum.org. The event will also be archived on line for later viewing.

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AsianInNY with Tan Dun

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