All tagged Tom Pye

Akhnaten - Philip Glass - English National Opera

Philip Glass’s Akhnaten, written in 1983, is an opera in three Acts based on the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhnaten.  The opera was commissioned and premiered in Stuttgart Germany and the American premiere was directed a year later in Houston by the Australian Opera Director, David Freeman.  The English premiere was staged in 1985 by ENO, who now stage its new 2016 production in partnership with the LA Opera.  The Egyptian and Hebrew texts are all taken from original sources, as indeed is the juggling whose source had been discovered as graffiti on the wall in an Egyptian tomb.

Aida at the English National Opera

Aida was premiered in Cairo’s Opera House at the end of 1871, having been commissioned by the Isma’il Pasha.  Its premier was meant to coincide with the opening of the opera house, but as a result of the Franco-Prussian war the scenery and costumes were stuck in Paris and Verdi’s Rigoletto was performed instead, with Aida premiering later in the year.  The premiere was met with great critical acclaim and the European premiere was held in February 1872 at La Scala Milan.  Over the next 20 years the opera became part of the staple repertoire of opera houses all over Europe and America, where different productions tried to deal with the passionate nature of relationships between three high born individuals, ultimately ending in inevitable betrayal.