Description: Libretto of the opera "Isis," by Philippe Quinolt. The music of the opera was composed by Jean-Baptiste Lully's and premiered on January 5, 1677 at St. Germain-en-Laye. The libretto is a loose adaptation of one of the episodes in Ovid's Metamorphoses. The plot resembles that of Lully's previous opera, Atys. It is set in pastoral and divine realms. In the opera, Jupiter courts the nymph Io, and jealous Juno imprisons her under the hundred watchful eyes of Argus. The god Mercury helps Io to escape and turns Hiérax, Io's former lover, into a bird when he tries to interfere. Then, Juno orders a Fury to torment Io. After a series of tortures, Io invokes Jupiter who interferes with Juno promising he will be faithful to her in exchange of her sparing Io. Juno then transforms Io into the Egyptian goddess Isis. On the title page for this opera, there is a lithograph illustration of the god Apollo holding a lyre and the goddess Euterpe playing a stringed instrument that resembles a guitar. It also depicts the fleur de lis, and on the background, an allegorical image Louis XIV, the Sun King.
Creator: Quinault, Philippe, 1635-1688.