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May 9, 2008

André Rieu and Mirusia in Brisbane, Australia

André and Mirusia in Brisbane

May 10, 2008 12:00am

AS Australia's rugby league team was preparing to play before several thousand empty seats in Sydney last night, a Dutch violinist declared he could sell out Suncorp Stadium three times over.
And on the evidence of the adoring throng of 3500 fans who turned out to see him play two songs in Brisbane's Reddacliff Place yesterday, Andre Rieu was probably right.
Fans came from as far as New Zealand and Melbourne for the first Brisbane sighting of the 58-year-old showman who sold more DVDs and CDs than another other musician in Australia last year.
The zany conductor, who has torn the stuffiness out of classical music and again made it the fare of the masses, was in Brisbane to promote his two Suncorp Stadium concerts in December.
The first sold out in two days. The second is close to selling out, prompting him to ask Sport Minister Judy Spence for permission to hold a third.
She is considering the request, but is hampered by State Government laws which permit Suncorp only three concerts a year, meaning the quota is full already given Rieu's two dates added to the visit by British pop icons The Police in January.
The man dubbed the King of Waltz has become so big in Australia that six of Australia's 10 top-selling DVDs last week were his and the only problems for his promoters, unlike last night's Centenary Test at the SCG, is finding arenas big enough to cope with his fans.
Waltzing Matilda, his tribute album to Australia recorded with gifted Brisbane soprano Mirusia Louwerse, went platinum in Australia in 10 days.
Yesterday he spent two hours signing autographs in a queue which at one stage snaked 250m around the perimeter of Reddacliff Place. Not bad for a man who was told to "go back and play for your grandmother" when he first tried to make an album 15 years ago.
"That was what the recording people told me," he said.
"They laughed at me. They said they only made rock records.
"It took me seven years to convince a recording person to come to my concerts. He only stayed for half of it but agreed to make an album which sold 750,000 in Holland alone.
"Michael Jackson beat me by selling 850,000 but he took two years. I did it in one."
Rieu, who speaks seven different languages, is a big earner and a massive spender.
In December he will bring 500 people (350 performers, 150 crew) including his own chefs with him for a show which includes the construction of a giant castle and, perhaps even more incredibly, an outdoor ice rink designed to withstand Brisbane's scorching summer heat.
"I could come here and play a small show, squeeze in a big crowd and no-one would be happy. I want people to have an experience they will remember for life."
Rieu's concerts are renowned for their playfulness, featuring (among other things) a three-year-old violinist spitting water, and band members chatting and laughing with each other as if they are at rehearsal.
"I enjoy humour and fun and wanted to have some in my concerts. Why not make people happy?" he said.
Robert Craddock is a senior Courier-Mail sport writer. He watches Andre Rieu for fun.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you click on the title of this article, it takes you to a video clip that starts out showing what will become of the Suncorp Stadium, but also shows both Andre and Mirusia speaking about Mirusia's start with Andre.
~Chris T.

Anonymous said...

This article appeared on page 3 in today's(Saturday)paper - The Courier Mail - and took up almost the whole page.
I wasn't able to make his appearance because of work commitments but my parents went for me and got a poster and cd signed on my behalf:-)
Annie

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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