Earlier this week, along with teasing a sequel to his full-fledged Christian rap album Jesus Is King involving Dr. Dre., Kanye West announced his first opera. Titled Nebuchadnezzar, it’s premiering this Sunday, 11/24, at the Hollywood Bowl, directed by Vanessa Beecroft with performers including Peter Collins, Infinity’s Song, and Kanye’s own Sunday Service collective.
Today, Kanye has revealed the premise of Nebuchadnezzar. Unsurprisingly, about the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar as told in the fourth chapter of the Old Testaement book of Daniel. According to a press release, “Set in the 6th century BC, the Book of Daniel recounts Nebuchadnezzar’s transition from wicked, imperious, self-declared ruler to a true believer who finds salvation in his faith.” The loose biblical narrative: God responds to Nebuchadnezzar’s inflated ego by making him insane, Nebuchadnezzar spends years living like an animal in the wilderness, and then he finds humility, comes to his senses, and begins worshipping God instead of himself. I wonder what drew Kanye to this particular story?
The press release continues, “West conceived of this opera as an expression of his commitment to both his faith and ever-expanding musical palette. Nebuchadnezzar brings together elements from different worlds, including opera, fine art, modern dance, and gospel music, to create an innovative performance structure. West’s sound is the bridge between these artforms.”
Tickets for Sunday’s opera are available here.