Here's What Went Down at Kanye West's 'Nebuchadnezzar' Opera at Hollywood Bowl

Sheck Wes took the title role, while Kanye stuck to narrating from a copy of the Holy Bible.


Image via Getty/Robin Marchant/Ralph Lauren


As the influx of highlighted Holy Bible pages on Kanye West's Twitter account signaled, Sunday night marked the debut of the latest facet of the Jesus Is King era, with the recent megachurch speaker bringing the Vanessa Beecroft-directed Nebuchadnezzar opera to the Hollywood Bowl.

Kanye is narrating tonight's opera, Nebuchadnezzar.

Tune in. ➡️

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) November 25, 2019

Per the Los Angeles Timesreview of the show from Mark Swed and Mikael Wood, the event lasted about 50 minutes and kicked off an estimated two hours behind the originally announced start time. Sheck Wes took the titular role, while West provided biblical narration.

Kanye has finally joined the cast on stage for a bow.

Tune in. ➡️

— TIDAL (@TIDAL) November 25, 2019

Pitchforkpoints out that West incorporated some familiar songs into the musical portions of the evening, which largely pulled from new compositions. Bits from "Say You Will" and "Wolves," for example, were worked into the production.

I don’t even know what I watched but I’m proud of Kanye #Nebuchadnezzar #newwaters

— Reggie Jagers III ‘OLY’ (@KingJagers) November 25, 2019

Wood ultimately assessed the opera as "basically" consisting of "Kanye reading Bible verses—and reading them very dramatically—as his choir delivered long, moody vocal lines without a huge amount of melodic movement."

The true power of Kanye West is getting all of Twitter to learn how to spell #Nebuchadnezzar

— see steve tweet (@SeeSteve) November 25, 2019

Below, peruse some clips from and general commentary on West's first opera, which went down the same night as the American Music Awards. The full thing is available for replay via the Tidal app.

This final. Wow. #Nebuchadnezzar

— Julio (@lAMATISTAl) November 25, 2019

So an opera about a biblical figure whose noted as “the destroyer of nations” in the Bible created by MAGA HAT WEARING Kanye West to a packed Hollywood audience...the End is Nigh isn’t? #Nebuchadnezzar

— Mousa Hussein Kraish he/him (@MousaKraish) November 25, 2019

Lot of respect for @diplo walking the AMAs red carpet and then leaving for Kanye’s Opera. Knowing both were going to be wack, I would’ve done it the same way.

— Tori (@VictoriaKolar) November 25, 2019

Kanye endorsed trump

— @GhostOfDr.King (@GhostofDrKing) November 25, 2019

Sheck Wes starring in Kanye West’s opera as “Nebuchadnezzar” at Hollywood Bowl

— Sheck Jesus (@SheckJesus) November 25, 2019

Man love the opera or hate it. Literally no one in Hip Hop is doing art like this. Absolutely no one. This is why we love Kanye in the first place. This ain’t my cup of tea but wow this is impressive. #Nebuchadnezzar

— Oscar (@sscar_76) November 25, 2019

West and Beecroft are frequent collaborators, with an extended history of previous link-ups spanning more than a decade of live performances and videos, as well as experiences centered on West's Yeezy line.

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