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SOUNDINGS east asia monthly a newsletter for undergraduates VOLUME I NUMBER 5 FEBRUARY 2007 WEATHERHEAD EAST ASIAN INSTITUTE COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY COLUMBIA HOSTS PANEL DISCUSSION OF FIRST EMPEROR WORLD PREMIERE by Caroline Gilliam CC 08 If there is one thing in the world that can unify peoples hearts it must be music remarked Tan Dun at a November 30th Columbia sponsored discussion of his new opera The First Emperor Unification is a prominent theme in this opera which made its world premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House on December 21st and tells the story of Qin Shi Huang the so called first emperor of China who unified the country and started building the Great Wall The Columbia event was organized as part of the World Leaders Forum and it brought Tan Dun together with his co librettist novelist Ha Jin and his director filmmaker Zhang Yimou to discuss the work Columbia s own Lydia Liu Professor of Chinese and Comparative Literature and James Schamus Professor in the School of the Arts Film Division as well as CEO of Focus Features were also onstage to moderate the conversation and add insight You will already be familiar with the story of Qin Shi Huang if you ve seen Zhang Yimou s film Hero which Professor Liu explained was actually based on a movie from the 1990s called The Emperor s Shadow According to Ha Jin however while these films and many other versions of the story focus most attention on the emperor the musician who plots to assassinate the emperor plays a very important role in the new opera STAY INFORMED JOIN THE WEAI UNDERGRAD E MAIL LIST AT www columbia edu weai click on get on the mailing list or email us at weaiundergrads columbia edu ONE MORE CHANCE FOR A NEW YEAR S NEW START by Caroline Gilliam CC 08 Gong xi fa cai Gung hay fat choy Happy new year Sunday February 18th marks the beginning of the Year of the Pig according to the lunar calendar which is followed in many countries across East and Southeast Asia The last in the 12 year lunar cycle the

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