Catholicism, Casablanca, London, and the Riviera 1934-1960

Portrait of Ida (Artist & Date Unknown)
Jpeg by M. Evans from scan of P.D. image

Ida Rubinstein approaching her 50th birthday
Jpeg by M. Evans from scan of P.D. image

Ida Rubinstein's Final Commissions and Performances
Les Choephores
-- From the drama by Aeschylus, translated by Paul Claudel, Music by Darius Milhaud (1935)
Jeanne d'Arc du būcher -- An oratorio: Liberetto by Paul Claudel, Music by Honegger (1938)

Performances: Les Choephores -- playing Clytemnestra at the Monaie Theater in Brussels, March 27, 1935
Persephone -- A radio broadcast from London on the BBC for an all-Stravinsky concert November 28, 1935
Premiere of Jeanne d'Arc du būcher in Basle, Switzerland (1938);
Two private performances of Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien
in the summer of 1938, after the death of Gabrielle D'Annunzio on March 1st.
Rubinstein also appears in small French villages reading from an essay entitled The Art with Three Faces, and performing scenes from St. Sebastien.
French premiere of Jeanne d'Arc du būcher in Orleans (1939);
Jeanne d'Arc du būcher
in Paris at Palais de Challot theater (1939);
September 3, 1939 -- World War Two begins.
Ida Rubinstein performs Jeanne d'Arc du būcher in a live broadcast on Radio Paris, February 22, 1940.
Ida Rubenstein performs Jeanne d'Arc du būcher in Liege, Antwerp, and Brussels in spring of 1940.
These are her last documented performances. Michael de Cossart & Vicki Woolf

Rubinstein commissions produced after WWII without Ida's involvement:
La Sagesse,
Liberetto by Paul Claudel, Music by Darius Milhaud (Radio broadcast, 1946)
Tobias and Sarah
Liberetto by Paul Claudel, Music by Darius Milhaud. (1947)
Lucifer and the Mystery of Cain
Liberetto by Rene Dumesnil, Music by Claude Delvincourt (1949)
Produced under the direction of Ballet Russes veteran Serge Lifar.
Le Chevalier errant --
Liberetto by Elizabeth de Gramont, Music by Jacques Ibert;
Le Martyre de Saint Sebastien
-- Revivals performed in France and Italy 1949, 1950, and 1951.
Produced at the Paris Opera House in 1957 by Serge Lifar.
Michael de Cossart

Biographical Chronology:

1934-1941: Ida Rubinstein is made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1934, followed by full French citizenship in February 1935. She converts to Catholicism in 1936 and joins a lay order of Dominican sisters dedicated to charitable works. Her Francophile upbringing, long residence in the French capitol, and intense friendships with the outspoken Catholic poet Paul Claudel, and mystical Gabrielle D'Annunzio all may have contributed to her choice in this matter. She is awarded the Grand Cross as an officer of the Legion of Honor in 1939.
As France falls to invading German troops, Ida Rubinstein flees to Algeria -- then Casablanca, Lisbon and London. Thanks to her paramour Walter Guinness (Lord Moyne), she lives at the Ritz Hotel in Picadilly and spends WWII caring for Free French troops in East Grinstead and Camberley England, plus helping wounded veterans afterwards. Her house at 7 Place des Etats-Unis in Paris is ransacked by Nazi occupation forces, and her collections of books and art are stolen. After the war, she completely retires from public life and temporarily relocates to Biarritz.
1950-1960; Ida Rubinstein moves into her last home, Les Olivades in Vence, near the city of Nice on the French Riviera. She retreats for one month a year to the abbey of Hautecombe, near Chambrey, France -- characteristically clad in robes made of the finest white silk. She dies of heart failure, aged seventy-five, at Les Olivades. Her lonely grave continues to be decorated by French veterans, remembering the service she gave to her adopted country for many years.
Vicki Woolf & Michael de Cossart