American composer Philip Glass penned an opera about Akhenaten’s reign as part of a trilogy in 1983, shortening the name to Akhnaten. Revived by ENO in 2016, the Olivier Award-winning production returns as part of the London Coliseum’s new season.
Beginning with the death of Akhenaten’s predecessor, we see the coronation of the new king. His first declaration is that of his intention to change the kingdom’s religion and build a new city. Despite initially stamping out unrest, this doesn’t last, and the story ends in tragedy.
Anthony Roth Costanzo sings Akhnaten. The American countertenor first began performing as a teenager in musical theatre, but quickly transitioned to opera. Previous opera credits include the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Glyndebourne. Katie Stevenson plays his wife Nefertiti, who has previously sung with the English National Opera and Barber Opera.
Composer Philip Glass is regarded as one of the most influential musicians of the 20th Century. He has composed pieces across several genres, including classical music, musical theatre and opera, as well as scores for dance, TV and film. A selection of works include Einstein on the Beach, the 2016 production of The Crucible, and the film Fantastic Four. The production is directed by Improbable founder and Artistic Director Phelim McDermott.
Akhnaten sold-out on its opening in 2016 and received an Olivier Award. With stunning design and world-renowned talent from opera and theatre on the creative team, the production plays at the London Coliseum from 11 February to 7 March 2019.
Recommended forOpera audiences don’t have many chances to see this work in the UK. Those interested in ancient Egyptian culture will find this a fascinating piece created from ancient texts. The plot is easy to follow, so those new to opera won’t be intimidated by this show.
Age Recommendations: No under 5s