Written in 1983 by composer Philip Glass, the opera Akhenaten is the story of one of Ancient Egypt’s most controversial pharaohs, Akhenaten, and the rise, reign, and fall of his kingdom. He is remembered in history for having abandoned Egypt’s traditional polytheistic religion and introducing monotheism with the sun god, Aten, as their only deity.
With Amenhotep III’s sarcophagus as the focal point for the funeral scene, his tomb represents the grandiose legacy that he left behind and that his son now has to live up to. This set had to also accomodate the following two scenes of the opera where Akhenaten is crowned and makes his first appearance as pharaoh in front of his people. Thus, the inner chamber spins to show the different sets needed for the scenes.