UPDATED 11/21, 1 p.m. ET: Official details about Kanye West’s Nebuchadnezzar opera have arrived. “West conceived of this opera as an expression of his commitment to both his faith and ever-expanding musical palette,” a Def Jam press release reads. “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.”
Sunday, Nov. 24 is still the premiere date, set at the Hollywood Bowl and featuring the Sunday Service collective, Peter Collins, and Infinity’s Song. Vanessa Beecroft serves as director. Tickets are available here and start at $20.
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Kanye West has been on a different path for a little while now, but he's set to take his music to new heights with the announcement of his first opera, Nebuchadnezzar. The event is coming Nov. 24 and directed by previous collaborator Vanessa Beecroft.
Yeezy posted artwork for the opera, with the powerful Babylonian monarch on front. The artwork was designed by Nick Knight.
As Pitchfork points out, Kanye has mentioned Nebuchadnezzar before. “[God] is saying, Let me take this Nebuchadnezzar-type character—Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, and he looked at his entire kingdom and said, I did this,” the Jesus Is King creator told Zane Lowe during an interview on Apple Music's Beats 1. “I stood on the top of the mountain talking about Yeezus, saying, ‘I’m a God’—I had a guy dressed as Jesus.”
Also in that very interview, one could see how Kanye would like someone like Nebuchadnezzar, the most powerful of all the Babylonian kings and one who had trouble with humility. “And now—I am unquestionably, undoubtedly, the greatest human artist of all time. It’s not even a question at this point," West said in the interview. "It’s just a fact. For the greatest artist in human existence to put a red hat on was God’s practical joke to all liberals. Like, ‘Nooo, not Kanye!'
Kanye's announcement comes after his appearance at Pastor Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church, where the rapper had a question and answer period with the pastor during service. He also stopped by a Houston county jail, where he gave the inmates a surprise private concert.
We're not quite sure what to expect from Kanye's first foray into the opera world, but knowing him, it should definitely be an interesting experience.