The pale and naked shades of Gianni Schicchi and Myrrha are compared to the frenzied figures of Athamas
Juno prevails on Tisiphone to drive Ino and Athamas
mad, and Ino throws herself and her child over a cliff-top into the sea.
The apocalyptic "strife of blood" (E 66; E 15: 11) predicted in the verbal text's final lines is counterpointed in the final visual image, which recalls The Fury of Athamas
(1794) by Blake's friend the sculptor John Flaxman (Behrendt, "Europe").
In days past a Greek king called Athamas
banished his wife and took another, a beautiful but wicked woman who persuaded Athamus to kill his own children; but a golden ram swooped down from the skies and carried the children away.
, a son of Aeolus and ruler of Boeotia, married the phantom Nephele (see Ixion ), who bore him a son, Phrixus, and a daughter, Helle.
That standard was intermittently approached by the spin ted mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy (Juno and Ino), American tenor William Burdon Jupiter, the agile soprano Katherine Whyte (Iris), American bass Steven Humes (Cadmus and Somnus) and American countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo (Athamas
eyes; the Pan-lashed Athamas
seeing his son Learchus as a stag and his
She was customarily identified with Ino, daughter of the Phoenician Cadmus; because she cared for the infant god Dionysus, the goddess Hera drove Ino (or her husband, Athamas
) mad so that she and her son, Melicertes, leaped terrified into the sea.
Anita Krause deployed her ample mezzo ably enough in both her roles, but expressed Ino's longing for Athamas
more persuasively than the betrayed Juno's cosmic fury (Krause sounded merely vexed).
Travelling effortlessly between Athamas
and Ino, Atreus and Aerope (Salt.
In Greek mythology, king of the prehistoric Minyans in the ancient Boeotian city of Orchomenus.
It was a shame to cut Athamas
's show-stopping final aria with a mellifluous countertenor like Canadian Matthew White on hand, but a rejoicing Athamas
would not have fit Lawless's concept.