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Editor's Letter

photo by Stas Arkhangelski

This is a tale of two cities St Petersburg and Moscow; I live in one and work in the other. They are so very different, the Two Capitals, and both Muscovites and Petersburgers like to say that never the twain shall meet, but the busy Friday evening train tells another story. My weekly commute became the basis of our travel article this month, 48 Hours in St Petersburg.

Our intrepid investigative team has been putting on a lot of weight in the past weeks, seeking out the mystery of the (Business Lunch). We put the silver spoons back in their mouths, and we present the results of our findings (somewhat tongue in cheek) in our Best Places for Business Lunch (to be continued).

Here in the office weve been so making blinis that we might well be writing an article about health clubs next month. Please dont think that all we do here is eat, its only so that we can tell you about the rituals of Maslenitsa (Butter Week); I like the one about gargling with vodka.

Twelve-year old Alex Prior doesnt have the time to think about giving Mozart a run for his money hes too busy writing symphonies and concertos but if you read our interview with him youll understand why we put him on the front cover.

I see that the Duma has said it doesnt like the Bolshois new opera Rosenthals Children , by Vladimir Sorokin and Leonid Desyatnikov, because of the way it shows some of Russias cultural icons Tchaikovsky and Mussorgsky busking outside the metro.

This reminds me that we have a review of the new staging of the Shostakovich ballet Bolt (at the New Stage of the Bolshoi). When it was first staged in 1931 Bolt was condemned for the way in which it had too many bad characters on stage. Now, of course, it is a classic. Does something sound familiar?

Jeremy Noble

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