Biting a Digestive Biscuit via Skype from Moscow!
21 April, 2012
I have just returned from a fabulous two weeks in Moscow and St.Petersburg. I had a great time but after many days of eating hotel food I started having cravings for Digestive Biscuits. These are hard to come by in Moscow. There is vodka aplenty, pirozhki, blinchiki and much more but unfortunately for me no digestive biscuits.
I was invited to conduct Bernstein’s semi-staged Wonderful Town in St.Petersburg and Moscow. I was also looking forward to working once again with the Moscow Chamber Choir and catch up with Maestro Vladimir Minin, the chorus master par excellence and Alla the Choir’s artistic director. I have worked with this choir before and the thought of working with them again gave me great pleasure. The soloists for this production have now also become great friends of mine. Kim Criswell with whom I have worked with many times before is a strong force in the team and what a pleasuer to see Zachary Halley, Leroy Villanueva, Sebastien Lemoine, Olga Listova and Vincent Ordonneau. Wonderful people and singers.
Rehearsals started in earnest for me before the soloists arrived and I spent most of my time in the Concert Hall rehearsing or in the Hotel.There were a few snow storms and it was wonderful looking out from the warmth of my hotel bedroom window and seeing heavy snow falling. Most of the time I ate in the hotel since it was too cold to go around looking for a restaurant. So after a number of days I started yearning some home-cooked food. One evening I was talking to my sister-in-law’s husband, Phil, on skype, and happened to mention that I would give anything to bite into a digestive biscuit. Phil has a wonderful sense of humour. He took a digestive biscuit from their kitchen cupboard and placed the biscuit right in my mouth via the TV screen. This picture was then sent to me via SMS. It made me laugh though my appetite for the biscuit was not satisfied so I had to sleep it off. Ah for the pleasures of travelling!