• In 1857, Bizet departed for Rome and spent three years there. He studied the landscape, the culture, Italian literature and art. Musically he studied the scores of the great masters. At the end of the first year he was asked to submit a religious work as his required composition. As a self-described atheist, Bizet felt uneasy and hypocritical writing a religious piece. Instead, he submitted a comic opera. Publicly, the committee accepted, acknowledging his musical talent. Privately, the committee conveyed their displeasure. Thus, early in his career, Bizet displayed an independent spirit that would be reflected in innovative ideas in his opera composition.[The Pearl Fishers - Georges Bizet, Virginia Opera]

    Georges Bizet
  • Religion is a means of exploitation employed by the strong against the weak; religion is a cloak of ambition, injustice and vice . . . . Truth breaks free, science is popularized, and religion totters; soon it will fall, in the course of centuries--that is, tomorrow. . . . In good time we shall only have to deal with reason.[From Bizet, by William Dean. Colier Books, 1962]

    Georges Bizet
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