Watching Akhnaten is a thought-provoking, absorbing experience. The opera explores the life and religious convictions of the Egyptian pharaoh, and forms the last of Philip Glass’s trilogy of ‘portrait’ operas in which he looks at figures from the fields of science (Einstein), politics (Gandhi) and religion (Akhnaten). This hypnotically mesmerising work uses texts drawn from ancient hymns, prayers, letters and inscriptions sung in their original Egyptian, Hebrew and Akkadian. This extraordinary work has not been seen in London for 30 years. ENO’s new production is directed by Improbable theatre company’s Phelim McDermott and follows his spectacular stagings of Glass’s Satyagraha and The Perfect American.Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings the title role, while conductor Karen Kamensek, a specialist in Glass’s music, makes her ENO debut.