The Bible, like ancient antiquities, can be seen as an inspiration to the fantasy, wonderful and scary stories of our time, where fantasy and reality form a fascinating parallel world.
Elias was the legendary prophet who, according to the Hebrew records, appeared to be the emissary of God. He revived the dead, caused fire storms from the sky and finally to heaven in a burning cart when God’s power was restored to the people of Israel after the worship of the idol Baal.
Mendelssohn was attracted to both the spiritual message and the unheard of drama – this would be a great work for song soloists, choirs and orchestras! And the hero of the drama is, of course, Elias himself, embodied here by the incompassible singer and scorecard Peter Mattei.