When asked to direct this production, I was at once delighted and overwhelmed. The music of Philip Glass is uniquely challenging, and the scope of Egyptian history is vast.
My ﬁrst step with any opera is always the music. Why was it written and orchestrated as it was? What did the libretto illuminate? And, most urgently, what was the real story being told? As I listened again and again, ideas began to form.
Parallel to this world of listening, I began doing research. Beyond the Tutankhamen exhibits which toured the United States, a few hours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the opera Aida, my knowledge of Egypt was minimal. One of the great joys of my career is the continual expansion of knowledge that accompanies each project. New language, rich history, varied geography, fascinating social behavior, and apparel are revelations within each directorial assignment. I studied books, toured exhibitions, watched historical DVDs, and immersed myself in all things Egyptian, all the while continuing to listen to the music.