One thing is for sure: Kanye isn't slowing down. His recent declaration that they would be bringing the only once-performed opera, "Mary," to New York (which has now been announced on Dec. 22) right before Christmas has brought joy to fans who have been hoping for the release of his possible Christmas album (he reported to Beats 1 that his intention was to release it on Christmas Day, but there has been no follow up).
"Mary" is West's follow-up to last month's production of "Nebuchadnezzar" held at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, and attended by a huge A-list crowd amongst old and new fans.
Kanye first announced "Mary" on Twitter a few weeks ago, then performed the extremely faith-based opera to a sold-out crowd. When he announced the New York pre-Christmas date it brought some intrigue to the world where many papers and news outlets reported the event as "A Kanye West Opera."
"Mary" is being directed by artist Vanessa Beecroft and the opera featured (as usual) West's highly trained and popular Sunday Service choir.
According to vanity fair, the Miami opera tickets were listed at $200 each and sold out in a day.
You can watch the opera online.
"A female opera singer's voice filled the air, and then West's voice took over. Over 300 prophecies in the Scripture described the coming of the Savior," West read, according to the Vanity Fair report. "Jesus Christ fulfilled them all. One prophecy in particular declared the sign of His coming to be marked by a voice, a voice that would prepare the hearts of the people of Israel for the Messiah."
"Mary" comprised of 12 scenes highlighting the birth of Jesus told through the eyes of West and Beecroft. Mary featured new arrangements of older Kanye songs, including "Devil in a New Dress," "Love Lockdown," "Power," "I Thought About Killing You" and "Can't Tell Me Nothing," which was arranged for a brass section, choir and what sounded like a Mellotron. It also included traditional Christmas songs like "O Holy Night," "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" and "Drummer Boy."
West read Matthew 1:20 over the music: "'The angel appeared to him in a dream, saying, 'Joseph, fear not to take Mary for your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.'"
After the Miami performance Kanye caught up with Vogue magazine where he again shared vulnerably and boldly about his faith. From Vogue:
West, who once communicated his fears, anger, and passions in rap music, has done some reflecting on the genre. In rap, he says, you don't hear a lot of scripture; these new pieces offer words and scenes directly from the Bible. He wants to use the grand medium of opera to make music that is a "beacon of light." Or to be a channel for it: "God put it all together," he says. "I'll tell you what, when I don't apply grace, I don't get the results I'm looking for. Everything must be done with grace. That's one of the things I pray for—and I need to pray for more."
His faith, West says, is an amplifier for everything he does, including music; he also thinks it's helped him evolve as a human being. "The true principles of Christ can and will make you a better person," he says.
One thing for sure is that, for fans who can now stream both "Mary" and "Nebuchadnezzar" or purchase the Jesus is King album, this is a very Kanye Christmas. His impact is going to continue as he boldly declares Christ into the New Year.
See more entertainment insider news from Shawn Bolz on his new show, Exploring the Industry, a talk show that interviews people in the entertainment industry about their faith and life, as they let God use their career to shine. Watch it on the weekends at 4:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Eastern on the CBN News Channel and catch up on past shows here.
Bolz is an author, TV personality, prophet, speaker, producer and the founder of Bolz Ministries.
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