Less than a month after his new album Jesus is King took the throne of the Billboard 200 chart, and his album companion film exclusively debuted in IMAX theaters, Kanye West’s artistic vision keeps evolving. The combative artist now dabbles into the staged drama genre with an announcement of his first-ever opera titled Nebuchadnezzar.
West revealed the announcement via Twitter on Nov.17 when he posted an artwork of a golden statue of an ancient king. Designed by Nick Knight, the artwork was intended to feature an engraving of the Babylonian king, but it was criticized by fans due to a mistake: the emperor in West’s artwork depicts the Persian emperor Darius the Great instead of the titular Babylonian king that West’s opera pays tribute to.
Invite artwork by Nick Knight pic.twitter.com/U7IBqe1Gxk
— ye (@kanyewest) November 17, 2019
Directed by Italian contemporary performance artist Vanessa Beecroft, the opera will take place at the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 24. It’s not the first collaboration between the duo; Beecroft previously directed West’s music video for “Runaway,” a critically acclaimed track from West’s classic album My Beautiful Twisted Fantasy. The opera will also feature music by West’s Sunday Service performers, as well as Peter Colins & Infinities Song. Tickets for the opera are available now.
According to Pitchfork, West mentioned Nebuchadnezzar during his interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music’s Beats 1. The hip hop artist put himself into a Messiah-type identity saying, “[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,” he added, “I stood on the top of the mountain talking about Yeezus, saying, ‘I’m a God’—I had a guy dressed as Jesus.” West hasn’t disclosed any content about the upcoming opera other than the title. It’s easy to believe Nebuchadnezzar will be another art body channeling West’s Christian belief.
Fresh off the Sunday Service in Joel Osteen’s mega-church in Houston, West tweeted a studio picture with hip hop mogul Dr. Dre this afternoon (Nov. 18), which currently reads: Ye and Dre Jesus are King Part II coming soon. Before the arrival of part II, West’s next music project Jesus Is Born will be released on December 25 during the holiday season.