An actor playing Napoleon Bonaparte greeted guests as they entered the Russian Embassy.
Guests were transported to 1812 last night at the Russian Embassy. Tchaikovsky’s overture echoed down the red carpet leading to where Napoleon Bonaparte awaited arrivals.
“1812 Gala: The Anthem, The Overture, and Salute to Diplomacy” was hosted by the American-Russian Cultural Cooperation Foundation, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The foundation honored former PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) Chairman and Chief Executive Donald Kendall, who introduced Pepsi Cola to Russians more than 50 years ago.
An actor playing Napoleon Bonaparte greeted guests as they entered the Russian Embassy. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg
Former PepsiCo chairman Donald Kendall, the evening's honoree. Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg
Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak welcomed guests into the romantic Golden Hall with its six chandeliers and floor-to- ceiling mirrors. A dinner of lobster, Chateaubriand beef and chocolate torte Napoleon was served with Russian Standard Vodka and Veuve Clicquot.
The night was a remembrance of the bicentennial of the wars of 1812 in Russia and the U.S.
John Quincy Adams, the former president and first American envoy to Russia, regaled guests with anecdotes from his time in St. Petersburg in the early 19th century. He was portrayed by former U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle.
Guests left with Russian Pepsi bottles and commemorative 1812 plates.