Bizet's opera Ivan IV, I assume indicating 'the Terrible', arrived - which besides the appositive construction reminded me that Georges Bizet, famous for Carmen (link through Merimee to Pushkin) of course, also has a direct link with Proust.

Proust's famous friend Mme Straus is actually Georges Bizet's widow. Bizet died young and if not in penury, certainly unrecognized - though shortly after his death Carmen did start , much like Lolita, to overcome initial infamy and begin her trek into the popular heart. Not to mention the link back through Proust to Nabokov.

Does everything lead back to Russian Literature? in my house, perhaps.


p.s. Besides the well-known Pecheurs de Perles and Jolie Fille de Perth (isn't that in Russia too?*) and l'Arlesienne, also wrote three other operas, Don Procopio, Djamileh and (surprise) Vasco da Gama.

*Perth is in Scotland and there's another in Australia. The opera is based on a story by Sir Walter Scott, whose great great great granddaughter lives in Pasadena. I may have been thinking of Perm, said to be a city of great culture - especially rich in theaters (opera, ballet and puppet).

p.p.s. I was not aware until I just googled Ivan IV, that he was a writer of some talent, compared even to Shakespeare, and a patron of the arts - not something for which he is known nowadays: 

Ivan was a poet, a composer of considerable talent, and supported the arts. His Orthodox liturgical hymn, "Stichiron No. 1 in Honor of St. Peter", and fragments of his letters were put into music by Soviet composer Rodion Shchedrin. The recording was released in 1988, marking the millennium of Christianity in Russia, and was the first Soviet-produced CD.[31][32][33]


Ivan's repentance: he asks a father superior of the Pskovo-Pechorsky Monastery to let him take the tonsure at hismonastery. Painting by Klavdiy Lebedev.

D.S. Mirsky called Ivan "a pamphleteer of genius".[34] The epistles attributed to him are the masterpieces of old Russian (perhaps all Russian) political journalism. They may be too full of texts from the Scriptures and the Fathers, and their Church Slavonic is not always correct, but they are full of cruel irony, expressed in pointedly forcible terms.

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