West shared the invite artwork for his opera, created by Nick Knight, with his fans in a tweet posted on Nov. 17. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, West’s opera will be directed by Vanessa Beecroft, who has worked with the rapper in the past. The entertainment news outlet reported that the invite artwork for the opera listed a range of pieces that will be performed, which includes the music performed during West’s Sunday Service, Peter Collins, and Infinities Song.
According to the Hollywood Bowl twitter account, the tickets for the opera will be available on Nov. 18 starting at 12 p.m.
Rolling Stone reported that it is unknown whether the Nebuchadnezzar opera would be a retelling of the story of its titular character, or whether it would be just inspired, or be based on, the Babylonian King’s story. The rapper did bring up the Babylonian king during his interview with Zane Lowe on Oct. 24. In the interview, West said he resonated with the story of Babylonian King, Pitchfork reported.
West reflected on his own tour performance for “Yeezus,” and said, “[God] is saying, Let me take this Nebuchadnezzar-type character—Nebuchadnezzar was the king of Babylon, and he looked at his entire kingdom and said, I did this. I stood on the top of the mountain talking about Yeezus, saying, ‘I’m a God’—I had a guy dressed as Jesus.”
West said during the interview that the similarities didn’t stop there—Rolling Stone reported that much like West, the Babylonian King was diagnosed with “bipolar disease,” although the entertainment news outlet reported that the term wasn’t used in the biblical passages that pertained to the Babylonian King. According to the tale of the king, Nebuchadnezzar had an encounter with a holy messenger who told the king that Nebuchadnezzar’s mind would be changed from that of a king to that of a beast, and it was through this experience—living in a forest like an animal for seven years—that the Babylonian King’s character became humbled.
Forbes reported that West feels the story of Nebuchadnezzar is reflective of his own story, where he achieved much, lost it to the mental illness that struck him back in 2016, and then, despite all odds, he recovered. Perhaps this is West’s way of acknowledging with any fall, one can still garner the courage needed to recover.