Kanye West took over Los Angeles’ Hollywood Bowl for the premiere of his first-ever opera, Nebuchadnezzar (directed by Vanessa Bancroft), this past Sunday (Nov. 24).
Backdropped by a choir of singers draped in all-white robes, Sheck Wes portrayed the titular role, as the story “recounts Nebuchadnezzar’s transition from a wicked, imperious, self-declared ruler to a true believer who finds salvation in his faith.”
While West himself didn’t make an appearance in the one-hour theatrical production, which began two hours late, he was plenty busy on the sidelines. Instead of starring in the opera, Ye narrated the biblical tale, as the “Mo Bamba” rapper commanded the stage in a blue robe.
For those who weren’t at the show or able to watch it exclusively on TIDAL, West tweeted out some behind-the-scenes content from the ministerial experience, including a scene breakdown and a photo of Chance the Rapper arriving before the show. The Jesus Is King rapper even shared self-taken shots of his personal annotated bible, turned to the Book of Daniel from the Old Testament.
TIDAL also previewed snippets of the show on its official Twitter account, including a visage of Sheck Wes stumbling to his feet as Ye recounted Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem before the choir took over.
West reportedly previewed some new music at the event as well, peppered with cuts from his pre-Jesus Is King discography, which was notably absent from the set list, according to Pitchfork’s coverage of the night. Given West’s history of giving fans teasers before actual releases, these snippets could be from the rapper’s recently announced, Dr. Dre-assisted Jesus Is King sequel.
Check out some videos and photos from the event below.
(Photo: Brad Barket/Getty Images for Fast Company)