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Metropolitan Opera - Akhnaten Reviews

Classical & Opera

Average customer review: 3.5 star rating (3.7 Stars)

Number of reviews: 3

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1.0 star rating Denise Leavitt from Schuyler Falls, NY

PAINFULLY SLOW

I am not a Neanderthal, nor an Egyptologist. I am a lover of Egypt, it's magic and mystery, and its history. I found this to be way too slow for any enjoyment. Such a short and dramatic time in history could have been so much more exciting. The "found-object" costumes looked just like that, found objects. Akhnaten would turn in his lavish grave to see himself dressed in rags and doll heads. And the characters in 19th century garb just looked odd and wrong. I could have sworn the narrator said Tut's tomb was found in 1934, which is not true; it was 1922, or so I learned in grade school. I am sorry to be such a Debbie Downer about something I looked forward to so much, but I was extremely disappointed and bored. The feminine voice of the pharaoh actually fit the historical character perfectly. He is thought to have been deformed and had a hormonal disease that gave him quite the womanly figure and strange features, so I suppose his voice may have sounded feminine.

5.0 star rating Marina from Leeds, UK

MESMERIC MEDITATION

I can't find words - visually spectacular. Hypnotic music, completely absorbing meditation ..... I could watch it over and over. Costanzo 's voice was bewitching.

5.0 star rating Gordon M. Brown from San Diego, California

FOUR-AND-A-HALF STARS

I agree that the "steampunk" elements of some of the costuming simply didn't work (in particular, Queen Tiye's outfit in the first act is simply ridiculous), and that Akhnaten's robe befitted a Chinese emperor from the Ming Dynasty more than an Egyptian pharaoh from a much earlier time. But to issue one star for trifles such as these simply misses the larger picture, which comprises the prayerful nature of Glass's music in this opera, the glorious, otherworldly singing, the beautiful abstractions conveyed by the impressive set design of this production, and, not least of all, the incorporation of a professional juggling troupe that cleverly mirrors the steadily rhythmic, repetitive but constantly shifting nature of the score. (Mind you, this comes from someone who is not especially a fan of minimalist music.) For my part, I feel that the opera is perfectly paced, not the least bit slow or dragging. Do not be dissuaded by the one-star review here; catch this while you still can!

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