Last week, we reported that rapper Kanye West announced he was creating his first opera entitled, Nebuchadnezzar. On Sunday, November 24, West debuted Nebuchadnezzar at the Hollywood Bowl.
What We Know:
- Harlem rapper Sheck Wes, who is also known for his hit single, “Mo Bamba” starred as the main character, Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar was an ancient Babylonian king that is mentioned throughout the book of Daniel in the Holy Bible. Although West didn’t make an appearance until the end, he was the offstage narrator for the play.
- Throughout the play, West also snapped pictures of highlights from the Book of Daniel and tweeted them for his followers to read along.
— ye (@kanyewest) November 25, 2019
- The opera was directed by Vanessa Beecroft, who has worked with West in the past on his “Runaway” video. Pitchfork also reports that the performance featured opera singers dressed in robes along with costumes, masks– the whole nine yards.
- The music that was showcased throughout the play featured new and original music along with some nods from West’s catalog. During the second half of Nebuchadnezzar, the hook from “Wolves”, a single from West’s 2016 album, Life of Pablo, was sung by the choir. “Say You Will”, a single from West’s 2008 album, 808’s & Heartbreak was also a song featured throughout his debut.
- After waiting two hours from the time the show was supposed to have started and expecting to hear music from West’s latest album, Jesus Is King, fans say the opera was a disappointment. Pitchfork reports that some fans walked away with a “newfound respect” for West. “I really loved it. I’m going to start attending Sunday Service,” said John Vic, a longtime fan of West.
Did you get a chance to catch the live performance of Nebuchadnezzar? If so, let us know your opinion in the comments!