Kanye West Bringing Opera Christmas Story ‘Mary’ to New York City

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 18: Rapper Kanye West performs onstage at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Festival at MGM Grand Garden Arena on September 18, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia)
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for iHeartMedia

Christian rap superstar and fashion mogul Kanye West is openly expressing his Christian faith in the holiday season and is set to bring his opera production Mary to the Lincoln Center in New York City, just three days before Christmas.

According to Vanity Fair, the opera is a follow up to West’s Nebuchadnezzar production and had its debut at the Marine Stadium in Miami, Florida, this month. The production is directed by artist Vanessa Beecroft, with music by Sunday Service, the magazine added.

Mary, originally titled Birth of Jesus, tells the story of Jesus’ birth, in time the Christmas. The Closed on Sunday artist “thought it would be more interesting to tell the story from Mary’s point of view; unlike Jesus, a divine being, Mary was just a human, petrified by the angels’ message and brilliance,” the outlet reported.

West is expected to take the performance to the Lincoln Center on December 22.

According to Vanity Fair, West reads from Luke 1:5 as part of the 12 scene opera.

The format was simple: The choir would sing, sometimes an opera singer would belt out a brief aria, and West would read verses from the bible. This wasn’t exactly an opera by the traditional definition. Sometimes the music was beautifully haunting. Sometimes the speakers squeaked. A choral arrangement of West’s 2007 song “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” began, fusing together classic Kanye, the musical genius, with the 2019 born-again Kanye. The audience seemed to enjoy it, with people bobbing their heads to the music as if they were at a concert.

The Jesus Is King crooner told Vanity Fair that he hopes the scripture-filled operas serve as a “beacon of light.”

“God put it all together,” West told the magazine. “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.”


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