This extraordinary work has not been seen in London for 30 years and forms the last of Philip Glass’s trilogy of ‘portrait’ operas in which he looks at figures from the fields of science (Einstein), politics (Gandhi) and religion (Akhnaten).
The opera 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 and The Perfect American.
Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings the title role, while conductor Karen Kamensek, a specialist in Glass’s music, makes her ENO debut.
The story centres around 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.
But instead, his people turn upon their Pharaoh as a traitor. Akhnaten must die.
Sung in Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian with no surtitles.
If you would like further information or book tickets, visit the ENO website here
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