From the composer’s point of view, this work is the culmination of his two other biographical operas, Einstein on the Beach (about Albert Einstein) and Satyagraha (about Mahatma Gandhi).
These three characters – Akhenaten, Einstein and Gandhi – are all driven by an inner vision that has altered the age in which they live and evolve, particularly Akhenaten in religion, Einstein in science and Gandhi in politics.
The text, taken from original sources, is sung in the original languages, and linked by a narration in a modern language, like English or German. The Egyptian texts of this period come from the poem of Akhenaten himself, in the Book of the Dead, and from extracts of decrees and letters of the Amarna period, the seventeen years of reign of Akhenaten. Other passages are in Akkadian and Biblical Hebrew.
The Hymn of the Sun, by Akhenaton, is sung in the language of the audience.