Morals Across the Map: L'Histoire du Soldat Debuts at Russian Embassy

"Tonight isn't about international trade, or even international economics," suggested H.E. Manuel Sager (Ambassador of Switzerland) as he co-hosted an evening at the Embassy of the Russian Federation with H.E. Sergey Kislyak (Ambassador of Russia) Tuesday night.  "It's about international culture!" 

The political pair presented - in collaboration with the Swiss Global Artistic Foundation - Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat (The Soldier's Tale) to an intimate group in the Embassy's ballroom, preceeded (as well as followed by) a reception featuring some of Russia's best hospitality - vodka and caviar!

"[L'Histoire du Soldat] is seldom heard, and that's unfortunate," shared H.E. Sager. "But it's good for us here tonight!"

The story, based on a Russian folk tale, was written in French by a Swiss writer, C.F. Ramuz, whom Sager claimed - with some degree of sarcasm - was so lauded for his work that he was put on the country's 200 franc note.  In the parable, the soldier makes a trade with the devil and learns just what greed can get you.   
 
But if the audience expected all to end well, they were in the wrong place.  "That's the difference between Europe and the United States," said a Swiss Embassy official.  "We're not always expecting a happy ending."

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