American rapper Kanye West has announced the forthcoming performance of his first opera, Nebuchadnezzar, directed by Vanessa Beecroft.
West tweeted a picture of a gold foil opera programme engraved with the heading "A Kanye West Opera".
Tickets are on sale for the matinee performance at The Hollywood Bowl on 24 November.
The contents of the opera have not yet been made public, yet many have suggested the biblical roots of the narrative sit well with the rapper superstar, known for espousing a very public relationship to God, ranging from his famous Sunday services to the recent album Jesus is King.
This is not the first time his story has been told in the operatic medium.
1841's Nabucco (the Italian translation for Nebuchadnezzar) was an early work by composer Giuseppe Verdi, and was a passionate retelling of the story of a king gone mad.
Small wonder that Twitter broke out in a flurry of response to the news, with excited fans agog over the new role their idol was taking on.
🔥🔥🔥 where do I rsvp?— Ruslan 🧢 (@RuslanKD) November 17, 2019
A Kanye West Opera??? pic.twitter.com/0h2OJe3sTd— Marcus aka “The Streets” (@trashtivist) November 17, 2019
OK THIS IS DOPE— Drive Slow, Homie (@UncleQuincy) November 17, 2019
This is going to be dope. Really curious to see what she designs— Roy Sanchez (@Royeezy87) November 17, 2019
Kanye has a long penchant of narrative in his work. So him performing an opera makes sense. All of his albums are essentially operas (though LR and 808s less narrative than the others). He’s always been highly inspired by movies. Mom taught English lit. An opera makes sense pic.twitter.com/E75VBTxDPI— Watching the Throne (@KanyePodcast) November 17, 2019
Some struggled to envision how the rapper was going to come across in the new music medium.
How you gonna use that talent on something like this 🤡— Brandon⚡️ (@BeatsHasRhythm) November 18, 2019
Many social media comments also pointed out that the image engraved on the opera program in the rapper’s tweet was not that of Nebuchadnezzar.
Please tell this Nick Knight to educate himself first!— بابک تبرستانی 𐭯𐭠𐭯𐭪𐭩 (@68ba89) November 18, 2019
This relief here depicts the #Achaemenid Shahanshah #DariusTheGreat. It's from #Apadana complex in Persepolis, one of the capitals of Achaemenid Empire.
THIS IS NOT A RELIEF OF NEBUCHADNEZZAR! pic.twitter.com/MleRKIiMkO
The current bombshell announcement comes as it was revealed that two titans of hip-hop Kanye West and Dr. Dre are joining forces to release a collaborative project titled Jesus Is King Part II.
While they have worked with many of the same artists over the years, the two have never released anything together.
Ye and Dre Jesus is King Part II coming soon. pic.twitter.com/wTKFgXQQXQ— ye (@kanyewest) November 18, 2019
Many of the rapper’s fans hit twitter to vent their excitement over the announced joint project.
Kanye, I have seen such a positive transformation in you. You are absolutely amazing. Keep smiling and spreading the good word. You have picked yourself up and shown the world how strong you are. I am absolutely impressed and amazed. Keep up the great work.— Misa (@RealMisaKisa) November 19, 2019
TWO OF THE GREATEST PRODUCERS OF ALL TIME. THIS IS AMAZING. WHAT.— Kanye Source (@KanyeSource) November 18, 2019
Damn...— Hip Hop By The Numbers (@HipHopNumbers) November 18, 2019
Kanye gonna break more records?
He already has the most religious content of a No. 1 Hip Hop album in history
Other fans seemed sceptical about the collaboration.
Idk if this is even going to happen 😂 Ye’s said too many times an album will be made and then it never comes out. Turbo Grafx 16, Yandhi... while not album he announced he had 30 songs with Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug back in 2016..where they at tho? 🤷🏽♂️— . (@JustJordan_925) November 18, 2019
lmao so many albums he has announced that never happened... Good Ass Job, Cold Winter, the joint with Chance, the joint with Drake— Hip Hop By The Numbers (@HipHopNumbers) November 18, 2019
It’s definitely happening he seems more motivated than ever 🔥— Brandon Romaniello (@Brand_namez) November 19, 2019
God please no more. I cant handle another 20 minute long half baked gospel album that every white suburban kid is going to blast for weeks— Xander Lizo (@buffbobmuller69) November 19, 2019
The announcement comes less than a month after West released his ninth solo album, Jesus Is King, which focused on God and Christianity.
Kanye is also planning to release Jesus Is Born, a Sunday Service album, on Christmas.