Ashley, Robert – “Atalanta (Acts of God)” – [Lovely Music Ltd.]
Maybe some of you might now of Atalanta through hearing Marlo Thomas and Alan Alda sing of her in the CD “Free to Be You and Me.” The story has the same root as this opera, which is to say that Atalanta was a princess who could run faster than any man in the kingdom. In order to help her choose a prince, Atalanta’s father said whoever could beat Atalanta in a race would win her hand. If he lost, he would die. One man wins the race, but because he and Atalanta made Aphrodite mad, they were turned into leopards who could not reproduce. This opera is about the male leopard, whose three-part character is compared to Max Ernst, Willard Reynolds, and Bud Powell. The music is avant-gard classical, the keyboards are by Blue Gene Tyranny, and the liner notes explain the musical setting in great detail. I do not care for this, but someone will.