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Akhnaten Opera Star Is Offered an Egyptology Fellowship at Oxford

Anthony Roth Costanzo takes the role, which he’s been playing since 2016, so seriously that it’s been academically recognized.

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Photographer: Karen Almon/Met Opera

The first time Richard Bruce Parkinson saw Philip Glass’s opera Akhnaten, in 1985, he left unimpressed. The tale of Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s father and his doomed quest to change Egypt’s belief system from polytheism to monotheism struck him as “quite a romantic, quite an idealistic view.”

Thirty years and one production later, Parkinson, a professor of Egyptology at the University of Oxford and a former curator at the British Museum, is now a superfan. So much so that he’s made Anthony Roth Costanzo, the opera’s star, a visiting fellow at Oxford’s Research Centre in the Humanities.