NEW YORK, Feb. 26 -- The Metropolitan Opera, hoping to tour China for the first time, is negotiating to perform Tan Dun's "The First Emperor" with tenor Placido Domingo there to coincide with the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As part of a late change to the 2007-08 schedule, which is to be announced at a news conference Tuesday, Met General Manager Peter Gelb substituted a revival of "The First Emperor" in place of a revival of Tobias Picker's "An American Tragedy" for the spring part of the season.
"The First Emperor" had its world premiere in December at the Met. While most reviews were mixed to negative, the run sold out.
Zhang Yimou, who is in charge of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Beijing Games, directed "The First Emperor."
The Met's intentions to go to China were disclosed by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. The Met has been waiting for financing to be finalized for the tour before making an announcement, the person said.
Gelb did not immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Next season opens Sept. 24 with a new production of Donizetti's "Lucia di Lammermoor" starring Marcello Giordani and Natalie Dessay and conducted by music director James Levine, who has never led the opera at the Met before.
Other new productions include Verdi's "Macbeth" with Andrea Gruber (Oct. 22); Gluck's "Iphigenie en Tauride" with Domingo and Susan Graham (Nov. 27); a new English-language staging by Richard Jones of Humperdinck's "Hansel and Gretel" (Dec. 24); Britten's "Peter Grimes" with Neil Shicoff (Feb. 28); the company premiere of Philip Glass's "Satyagraha" with Richard Croft (April 11, 2008); and Donizetti's "La Fille du Regiment" with Dessay and Juan Diego Florez (April 21).
Among revivals, Renee Fleming is to appear in Verdi's "La Traviata" and "Otello"; Diana Damrau is to sing Pamina and the Queen of the Night in different performances of Mozart's "Die Zauberfloete"; Karita Mattila and Giordani will sing in Puccini's "Manon Lescaut"; and conductor Lorin Maazel is to return to the Met for the first time in 45 years to lead Wagner's "Die Walkuere."
The Met is continuing its program of high-definition simulcasts to movie theaters for the second season, with the operas to be televised later on PBS stations. Next year's high-definition schedule includes Gounod's "Romeo et Juliette" (Dec. 15) with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon; "Hansel and Gretel" (Jan. 1); "Macbeth" with Lado Ataneli (Jan. 12); "Manon Lescaut" (Feb. 16); "Peter Grimes" (March 15); Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" with Ben Heppner and Deborah Voigt (March 22); Puccini's "La Boheme" with Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas (April 5); and "Le Fille du Regiment" (April 26).