Prague, December 28, 1866
. . . By the last act I was ready for a fresh surprise. Here's how the solemn procession of Mikhail's coronation was managed: at first Venetians from the Council of Ten, followed by doges, then French troubadors and, finally, under a canopy carried by German pages, Tzar Mikhail passed by in the costume of the King of Sicily from Robert. . . Also I must tell you that evidently A Life for the Tzar doesn't please the local public. (There were very few there.) Nor will local musicians be pleased, for such heads as Shornik32 and Smetana33 can understand nothing sensible that steps out of the German frame. Interesting to wonder how they'll receive A Life for the Tzar (V Praze) as revised by me. Now the public attends only operas that are immediately understandable or that suit their vulgar German taste, like Troubador or Wilhelm Tell, and if A Life for the Tzar is given, it will be only because of the Russophile tendencies of certain local leaders, for example Rieger, who received me very kindly . . .
Prague. January 9, 1867