Monday, April 6, 2009

Emma Calve

I have read some of Calve's autobiography entitled (not very originally) My Life. She is very reticent about her private life and her beliefs, no mention of esoteric or mystical pursuits. Apart from Vedanta that is. She seems to have been a follower of Swami Vivekenanda who accompanied her on a world tour with a group of friends. She was born in Provence and then brought up in Spain from about 6 months old until age 6. She spoke fluent Spanish. She later bought a castle in Aveyron, Languedoc, the Chateau de Cabrieres which she says and I quote "the little castle of Cabrieres dates from was the refuge of a group of Knights Templars." Unfortunately she doesn't enlarge on this so whether they took refuge before or after the suppression of the Order I don't know. The Aveyron is a wild region (even wilder in her day of course) of gorges and caves. I attach a picture of this "little castle" taken from her book. It is still there of course who it belongs to today I have no idea but Calve spent her retirement years in the town of Milau (also Provence) where she taught. In Milau there is a street named after her and several Pensions and Hotels. Castillon knew her quite well because he had so he says written enthusiastic reviews of her performances at the Opera Comique in Paris when she was starting out and he was a great admirer. He visited the "little castle." Of course he had a Spanish background himself.

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