Akhnaten, London Coliseum - ★★★★☆ - Until March 7, 2019


Philip Glass' wonderfully strange and hypnotic opera has some sensationally beautiful moments, the choral singing and orchestral colouring are particularly amazing. It looks terrific with ravishing costumes and several scenes of great spectacle on three floors of set. Every movement and gesture is phenomenally slow and must require tremendous concentration. However for me, the show is not without difficulties: I don't like the use of the narrator, his were the only words in English but remained largely impenetrable; the frequent juggling, although historically accurate, can irritate as one is tempted to watch for the inevitable dropped ball. To be brutally honest, the whole thing can occasionally feel somewhat pretentious. However, the wonderful parts far outweigh the problems. Anthony Roth Costanzo is amazing as Akhnaten, totally committed to the role including the nudity. His counter-tenor voice pins one's ears back. The trio with Nefertiti and Tey is gorgeous as is the love duet. Phelim McDermott's production has incredible flashes of imagination. I've never seen a battle with bows and arrows carried out so thrillingly on stage. Much to my surprise, I loved it and would rush to experience it all over again.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆★ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Running until March 7, 2019
Thu & Sat: 7:30 pm. Sat March 2: 6:30 pm
London Coliseum
Nearest tube: Covent Garden
https://www.eno.org/whats-on/akhnaten/

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