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Akhnaten at English National Opera

When I last saw Akhnaten, I was a school boy. Yet this opera left a lasting impression - the opening arpeggios, the entwined melodic lines, the naked singers and the stark production (sand castles!). So I was much looking forward to seeing this new production thirty years on.

Anthony Roth Costanzo made a pensive and somewhat haunting Akhanaten with his vocal colours. The chorus was on form (despite recent troubles). The orchestra rocked from time to time and it was unfortunate that the ensemble fell apart at the destruction of Akhanaten's empire - though Karen Kamensek did a good job at holding everything to together. As for the production? I found the juggling a little too much - they worked fine at the beginning but it became a little repetitive, almost distracting. As for the stage set (Tom Pye), it was a little too close and introspective (perhaps that was the intention).

It was a delight to see Philip Glass coming on stage at the end - to receive an enthusiastic applause from the audience.


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