Nebuchadnezzar A Kanye West Opera This Sunday At The Hollywood Bowl
Ask any composer, it takes at least a year or even more to write an opera. However, out of the blue, Kanye West has announced he will debut his first opera this Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl? Did anyone know he was working on an opera? The Ye man is definitively full of surprises, and probably thinks he is Verdi these days. Unless what he calls an opera is not really one? Logistically, it seems impossible to think Kanye had timed to write an opera, then found the time to stage it with singers… What if this opera is, in fact, his Sunday Service with new visuals? That would be bad.
But his opera is called Nebuchadnezzar, who was a King of the Babylonian Empire between 604 and 562 BC, some biblical character whom Kanye has already mentioned in interviews before, but who can follow?
Of course, Nebuchadnezzar was not any king, he was a mighty one, very proud of his accomplishments, at the head of immense wealth and powerful warriors. With a very rich father (Nabopolassar) who had formed a large empire through conquest, Nebuchadnezzar was a sort of MAGA hat character of the old days, except that he was really almighty. How does Kanye know about him? Probably because he is featured in the Bible, specifically the Book of Daniel, where he is portrayed in an unflattering light, even regarded as an enemy of God, considering he was responsible for the destruction of the temple of Jerusalem and the kingdom of Judah… For the first part of his life, he was sort of an ‘asshole’ (according to Daniel), leaving no room for the biblical God in his kingdom, forcing Jews to worship a golden idol, and throwing them into a furnace when they refused to do so. Why all these details? Because I have no idea what Kanye’s opera will actually be about, and because the story becomes even more interesting later on.
Then, a dramatic event occurred in Nebuchadnezzar’s life, he heard a voice telling him he was about to go insane. His madness was reported (by Daniel, which was completely bias considering he was Jewish) to have lasted for 7 years, but when the king’s sanity was restored, he started praising God. Once Godless, Nebuchadnezzar became a God-fearing man, finally recognizing that God is a far mightier king than he will ever be.
A mad (maybe bipolar) man finding God? It is obvious that Kayne recognized himself in this biblical character since he has recently found God. Kanye was a special guest at Joel Osteen’s famed megachurch on Sunday and he declared things like that ‘Jesus has won the victory’.. ‘I told you about my arrogance and cockiness already. Now the greatest artist that God has ever created is now working for him.’… some people will tell you that ‘finding God’ is another form of mental disease, but let’s stay polite.
Kayne probably loves Nebuchadnezzar’s story about power and redemption through God, and we can safely say that this opera is about Kanye West. Narcissist once, narcissist forever.
Beside this narrative, very little is known about the opera: We just know that British fashion photographer Nick Knight designed the poster – and he apparently mistook Persian King Darius the Great for Nebuchadnezzar – and that Kanye’s long-time collaborator, the Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft is set to direct. However an opera is a huge enterprise with usually several acts, plenty of costumes, and a grandiose mise en scene, will West’s work include any of the above? I only know the venue is grandiose
Only one showing of Nebuchadnezzar has been announced so far, at the Hollywood Bowl at 4 p.m. this Sunday. Tickets have gone on sale, and there are still plenty available when I speak. Prices start at $120 to $725 in the pool, which is not cheap… Come on Kanye, even the nosebleed tickets are $120! But I bet his new friend Osteen, who is all about this ‘prosperity Gospel’ won’t find anything wrong with that.