Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Emma Calve, the opera singer.

I just looked through the pictures I have from France last summer, and once again the beauty of the small church dedicated to Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Chateau overwhelmed me. Sauniere had some interesting ideas for church decorating when he renovated his church, to an astonishing sum of money. The colors inside this small space match with a Beatrice Potter children's book. The clear light blue, the color of a sweet summer day, go well with the soft peach and the lavish use of gold. There is a soft turquoise there as well. Where did he get his ideas? The colors would look lovely in a Parisian woman's boudoir. Did Emma Calve, the opera singer he knew, help him out?

Sauniere is always pictured in a black cassock, appearing very much the image of a devout priest. Still, he visited Emma in Paris frequently, and she and a flock of fine people came from Paris to his remote little mountain top in the Languedoc, more than a days train ride away, to enjoy fine dining and entertainment. The stories here are just begging to be written.

I recently visited Nashville, Tennessee, and learned that Emma Calve had been there performing an opera on the stage later known to us all as The Grand Old Opry. The area around Nashville was called the Mero district, after an early mayor of New Orleans who was related to the Merovingian kings of fifth century France. The same Merovingian family had their stronghold close to Rennes-le-Chateau. They claimed to be descendents of Christ and Mary Magdalene, and have divine rights to the throne. Was it their geneology Sauniere found inside a pillar? Another story that needs to be told.

I'm a story teller and a novel writer. This is where I play.



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