Revolution under the sign of the sun god: The death of Amenophis III grants his son Akhenaton the throne of Egypt and the assumption of power. The young pharaoh proclaims the beginning of a new era. Driven by the longing for light, his reign was marked by revolutionary deeds. Akhenaton and his followers destroyed the temple of the god Amun and deprived him – for to them Aton is the only Creator God to be worshiped. But at some point the years of plenty are also over for him: Akhenaton is accused of failing to provide aid for the military protection of the Egyptian provinces. The agitated populace storms the palace under the leadership of insurgents. The effects of these events on the present are unpredictable, and yet they can still be felt today.
As the conclusion of his trilogy on influential personalities (Einstein on the Beach and Satyagraha), Philip Glass dedicates the opera Akhenaton to the Egyptian pharaoh and his attempt to establish a new religion. With the principles of minimal music, the American composer creates music-theater full of associations, whose tonal language is partly shaped by Asian and partly by American culture.
In Dortmund, opera and ballet combine to bring Akhenaton onto the stage as a sensually choreographed evening that brings singing, physicality and aesthetics in harmony with the alluring music.