Jane Talks, Anecdotes...when our stories are not being told...
What do we do when our stories are not being told?...Dance to the music of the living and dead,
and you will find your way home.
Yuri's Watch & Jane's Pants - Festivale di Sagra Umbra Perugia
The Russian repertoire suits me well and has been identified with me, due to my being the first singer to win the Gold Medal in the famed International Tchaikovsy Competition in Moscow, so I was not surprised, but still honored and challenged, at being invited to the noted Italian festival in Perugia, Festivale di Sagra Umbra Perugia, by Mo. Siciliani (Chief of the RAI Italiano-Italian Radio & Television-and Teatro alla Scala Milano, and the founder of Festivale di Sagra Umbra Perugia) and Mo. Yuri Aronovitch (former Chief of the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra) to sing Fevronia-in the original, antiquated Russian-in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Invisible City of Kitish and the Maiden Fevronia.
At a rehearsal, noticing Mo. Aronovitch’s extraordinary watch, I commented with glee and admiration, "Oh Yuri, what a wonderful watch"! Whereupon, he took it off and handed it to me, saying: "In my country when someone admires something, it means she wants it"!
I said, "Yuri, we're not in your country, we're in Perugia and I love your watch, but I don't want it", and I handed it back to him. He would have none of it and refused to accept this gorgeous thing back, so I gave it to the chambermaid in our hotel and asked that she put it in his room, only to find that he’d done the same, and I would find the watch back in my room.
This went on until I realized his resolve and stubbornness, so we continued intensely to work on the beautiful and massively long piece at hand (4_ hours), but I was joyously able to have the last laugh when the cast decided to "dress" for a festive cast party.
I, wearing Kelly green slacks and everything coordinated, entered the lobby of our hotel, where everyone was waiting, and Yuri said in a loud voice, "Oh Janetchka, what beautiful greeen pants"! Whereupon, I took them off, handed them to Yuri, and went to the party in my underwear and a longish tunic! Everyone was screaming with laughter, having experienced the "watch" episode earlier in the rehearsal period, to say nothing of screaming at my outfit!
I still have the watch and Yuri the pants.