Rosalyn Tureck’s performance, scheduled to be held in the Philharmonia, in St. Petersburg, July 5, 1995
as part of the annual White Nights Festival, an international arts festival held during the season of the midnight sun – May through July.
Arriving from the airport by taxi (a story in itself!!)
the first person emerging from the Nevsky Palace Hotel is Rosalyn. Mindful of her admonition we do not approach, but she sees us…greeting us briefly with a hug before stepping into the car waiting to take her to rehearsal.
We settle in to our room and begin to plan for the next day.
We have decided to breakfast early – an astounding buffet including of course the ever-present caviar. We sit at the second floor window overlooking the Nevsky Prospect; the contrast between the opulence of the meal and the drab street scene with the ‘babushkas’ – little elderly ladies with brooms made of twigs, named for the scarves they all wear – sweeping the gutters in this great city.
Returning to our room before setting out on foot – the taxi experience was harrowing and the public transportation crowded and antiquated –
a call from David: Rosalyn has forgotten/misplaced her eyeshadow – would we please purchase brown eyeshadow, leaving it at the front desk before 1 pm. We lay out our evening attire for the gala festivities ahead – afraid to send them out to be pressed – and make sure our tickets are secure.
Attempting to remain undaunted by this request/order, the hunt begins. We ask for information about where we might purchase cosmetics at the front desk, but are unsure if we are understood, much less understanding the response. Huge problem number one: The Cyrillic alphabet gives no clue to even the root word on any sign of which there are very few. Second problem: there are no window displays of merchandise, even if you would happen to be in front of a store……….. Finally, on a side street some blocks from the hotel we find a tiny Nina Ricci boutique where we are able to make our purchase – $37 and change – we would have paid any price, so relieved are we to have been successful!!!!!!!! The deadline approaches; we hurry back to the hotel, leave the package at the front desk, then set out to make the most of what remains of the afternoon………