Akhnaten by Philip Glass at English National Opera
25th February 2016
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 7/3/16
This March, for the first time in thirty years, Akhnaten by Philip Glass will be staged in London, at English National Opera. Akhnaten is the last in the trilogy of Glass's portrait operas in which he explores figures from the fields of science (Einstein), politics (Gandhi) and religion (Akhnaten). The libretto uses texts drawn from ancient hymns, prayers, letters and inscriptions sung in their original Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian.
ENO’s new production is directed by Improbable theatre company’s Phelim McDermott and follows his spectacular stagings of Glass’s Satyagraha andThe Perfect American. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings the title role and conductor Karen Kamensek, a specialist in Glass’s music, makes her ENO debut.
An opera in three acts with a libretto by the composer in association with Shalom Goldman, Robert Israel and Richard Riddell.
Commissioned by the Württenbergisches Staatstheater, Stuttgart
Divine ruler of Egypt, husband to Nefertiti, father of a new religion. Akhnaten decrees that the sun god rules supreme, and the old gods must be banished from their temples. Instead, his people turn upon their Pharaoh as a traitor...
Akhnaten must die. Will his new faith live on?
March 04, 08, 10, 12, 15, 17 & 18
Sung in Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian with no surtitles
Karen Kamensek Conductor
Phelim McDermott Director
Tom Pye Set Designer
Kevin Pollard Costume Designer
Bruno Poet Lighting Designer
Sean Gandini Choreographer
Anthony Roth Costanzo Akhnaten
Rebecca Bottone Queen Tye
Emma Carrington Nefertiti
James Cleverton Horemhab
Clive Bayley Aye
Colin Judson High Priest of Amon
Zachary James The Scribe