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A Night at the Opera

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 27, 2020

One of my favorite video series is Estelle Caswell’s Earworm for Vox — you can check out my posts about it here. It had been a few months since the last episode, so I went to see if she’d made any other videos in the meantime and, lo, Caswell produced a video about the Metropolitan Opera’s production of the opera Akhnaten by Philip Glass, one of my favorite composers.

The video above gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Akhnaten. We follow Anthony Roth Costanzo, who plays Akhnaten, through the various phases of rehearsal, from working with his vocal coach in a Manhattan apartment to taking the stage for a dress rehearsal in a costume covered in doll heads.

I’ve only seen one opera at the Met (years ago) and was blown away by the production. I remember walking out of there thinking, “Do people know how good this is? Why isn’t opera a massive thing?” (Although I guess I answered my own question by not ever going back?)