A good story is like a kaleidoscope. Its characters and themes are multi-faceted, and each retelling is like a further twist of the tube that makes new patterns appear.
This is certainly true of the Iliad, the classic tale of Troy at war. Before Homer captured it in 10,000 metric lines in the 8th century BC, the story had probably been passed on orally for many generations. Was Homer’s narration close to these early oral versions? Or did he give it a twist of his own? And was he the Iliad’s sole author, or was it more of a collaborative effort? This is what has been famously described as the ‘Homeric Question’.
Either way, the Iliad has been one of the mainstays of western culture, as has its sibling, the Odyssey. Through the centuries, countless poets, writers, artists and composers have presented their own interpretations of the famous myth. With their music and libretto for Una Iliade, Marco Beasley and Guido Morini are the latest additions to this venerable tradition. They, too, have twisted the richly filled tube of the storytelling kaleidoscope to make fresh patterns appear, in the same way as they did with Una Odissea.