Akhnaten is a mesmerising work whose text draws on ancient hymns, prayers and inscriptions sung in their original Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian. The third in Glass's trilogy of operas about men who changed the world in which they lived through the power of their ideas, the subject of Akhnaten is religion. The Pharaoh Akhnaten was the first monotheist in recorded history, and his substitution of a one-god religion for the multi-god worship in use when he came to power was responsible for his violent overthrow. The opera describes the rise, reign, and fall of Akhnaten in a series of tableaux.
Philip Glass specialist Karen Kamensek conducts Akhnaten following last season's Satyagraha revival. Anthony Roth Constanzo returns in the title role, as do Rebecca Bottone, (Queen Tye), James Cleverton, Colin Judson and Zachary James. New to the production is Harewood Artist Katie Stevenson as Nefertiti and the bass-baritone Keel Watson as Aye.
In other news...
LA Opera commission Matthew Aucoin
In February 2020 LA Opera will premiere Eurydice, the third opera from 2018 MacArthur Fellow, Matthew Aucoin. Sarah Ruhl's libretto re-imagines ancient mythology for a modern age: this time, the tale unfolds from the heroine's point of view. Danielle de Niese will sing the title role.
More information | Watch the teaser trailer
Henze: Phaedra at Lindbury Theatre
Phaedra (2007), the astonishing final opera from Hans Werner Henze, is a contemporary rhapsodic take on a classical tragedy. This production, brought to life by the ROH Jette Parker Young Artists and the Southbank Sinfonia, will run from May 15-20 in the newly refurbished Lindbury Theatre.