Went along to the AKHNATEN dress rehearsal this morning, and was thrilled by the new production. I saw the first run 30 years ago several times, and it was fabulous, but this is even better.
Phelim Mc Dermott has a feel for Glass' work, and the sets (Tom Pye), costumes (Kevin Pollard) and lighting (Bruno Poet) enhance the exotic beauty of the piece; lots of warm metallic glow. I did kind of wonder why Akhnaten was decked in what appeared to be an Elizabethan gown at his coronation, but it didn't bother me. There was also, perhaps, a little too much juggling,but I can't think of anything really negative to say about it. The cast was excellent, although countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo didn't come across as quite as strongly as Chris Robson back in the day.
The very tall and imposing Zachary James, in the spoken part of the Scribe, looking rather like Christopher Lee as Kahris, was most impressive in what must have been a difficult role.
I was surprised that the opera is three hours long, it's always seemed quite short, to me, and still does.
I know a lot of people don't share my enthusiasm for Glass in general, and actually find this, which I consider his masterpiece, tedious and annoying. I say it's hauntingly hypnotic, moving, and weirdly uplifting. I'm so glad I saw it, and advise the whole world to go. There are only a few performances.