Kanye West and his Sunday Service choir were draped in silver robes complete with silver face paint for the performance

By Becky Randel
December 09, 2019 04:45 PM
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Kanye West is taking his religious-inspired work to a new level.

On Sunday night, the Grammy-winner, 42, presented his nativity-themed Opera “Mary,” on a barge at outdoor Miami Marine Stadium to close out Art Basel — a huge art fair in Florida.

West’s performance, starring his “Sunday Service Collective,” was directed by Vanessa Beecroft. The show kicked off an hour late, likely due of logistics because the stadium could only be reached by boat. For their performance, the choir was dressed in silver robes and silver face paint.

Performers acted out 12 biblical scenes during the show and the audience was given programs to help them follow along. The programs included sketches, titles and some lyrics from the acts which progressed from Gabriel visiting Mary to Mary’s pregnancy to the birth of Jesus and the prophecy. West’s hits including “Can't Tell Me Nothing” and “Love Lockdown” were sung by the choir some scenes while religious hymns like “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” and “Gabriel’s Aria” were performed in others.

Kanye West

“Kanye narrated the whole thing, then came out in full face paint and the silver robe,” Sam Baum, owner of the new disco club Minnie’s in Wynwood, Florida,—— tells PEOPLE.

After his performance, West and his crew stopped by his friend Rich Wilkerson’s VOUS church in Wynwood. Wilkerson officiated Kim Kardashian and West’s wedding in 2014.

At the church, West and his choir performed more songs including Ye’s latest, “Jesus Walks.” This time, the singers were dressed in navy blue and black outfits and their silver makeup had been removed. West kept it simple, wearing sunglasses throughout. Afterwards, Wilkerson stepped on stage and gave his famous friend a big hug — the audience of hundreds went wild.

Kanye West and choir
| Credit: MEGA

When West debuted his Nebuchadnezza opera in Los Angeles last month, some weren’t impressed. But this time around, the presentation received very positive responses. “It was entertaining and moving, an incredible collection of interesting people,” Baum says. “[It was] a beautiful, natural environment juxtaposed with hyper-modern silver costumes and well acted and beautifully composed music. People were really patient and into the performance.”

The audience included Chance the Rapper and Miami’s power art couple Mera and Don Rubell who recently opened a museum in front of a star-studded guest list that included Eva Longoria, David Beckham, and Ricky Martin.

Kanye West
| Credit: BACKGRID

Kardashian West wasn’t in attendance at either opera debut due to her busy schedule, but she did hit the Art Basel scene earlier in the week with her sisters Kourtney Kardashian and Kendall Jenner.

West began hosting his one of a kind, church-like Sunday Services in January. He even led one of his services during a Coachella performance in April with the entire Kimye clan by his side.

These days, the choir has been performing some of his new gospel songs from his upcoming album, Jesus Is King. It’s expected to drop on Christmas day.