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Nov 19, 2010

André Rieu Returns To The Stage As If Nothing Had Happened

André Rieu Returns To The Stage As If Nothing Had Happened

He managed to perform for 32 years in a row, but the last two months he was forced to stand on the side ... Recovered from a virus infection, André Rieu made his Re-Entry yesterday in Antwerp. Good news for the fans and his bookkeeper.
When André Rieu puts his violin to his chin again, she can finally breath again freely, just like the rest of the massive flocked to public. Hyacinthia Devriendt, is a huge fan, "but in a majestic manner, not in the pushy sort of way." She was quite concerned about his illness. It kept her occupied daily, even though she was not affected by the cancelled concerts. Husband Johan, acknowledged that he was quite concerned about the financial consequences and all the troubles of the Maastricht musician. At home in Brugge, in their living room in their André Rieu corner, or driving in their car with a life size André Rieu photo in the back window, their thoughts were often with the violinist. Almost daily the two looked through newspapers and websites, in search for liberating news that Rieu was recovering. Now that he is back again, all their worries have vanished. Even Rieu himself has apparently made a 180 degree change because he did not mention a word about it during his re-entry. Or did he? "Do you see anything special on me" he asked the audience. The answer was crystal clear that the fans did not expect a reference to his difficult period. "I have become an Opa for the fourth time this year." As if nothing had happened. As if he had never been gone.
Rieu on stage: "It seems so normal, but it wasn’t so." Because two months ago all of the sudden it did not work anymore. Rieu was stricken with an infection on his equilibrium, which resulted in dizziness and high fever. The first indications of his illness occurred in August, not bad enough not to go to work, but a month later came the unavoidable blow. Although the already tired Rieu had negated doctor’s advice to take it easy, come half way September it made a believer out of him. It then became walks with the grandchildren instead of performing. The consequences were far-reaching. The planned England concerts were cancelled. In New Zealand and Australia about 200,000 paying fans had to be disappointed. Also annoying was the fact that 20 containers with décor and installation materials had already been shipped in the direction of Australia, and approximately 100 airline tickets for the orchestra members had already been booked. In addition their income was drastically reduced. "That was a little scary" said Rieu earlier this month. "I have 120 employees. We’re not talking about ten thousand Euros, but we are talking about millions when you do not perform for two months. And everything has to be paid." The decision to cancel all performances was not an easy one, especially looking at the financial situation in which the the Rieu company found itself. Due to the delusion of grandeur, the violinist’s company almost went under in 2008 when perfectionist Rieu had organized such a large Australian tour that it was impossible to recoup the costs. The Schönbrunn Castle replica, along with 200 containers which he flew all over the world received a lot of praise, but cost him a fortune. Especially when yet another copy had to be constructed since the first one did not fit in the outdoor concert venues.
Through all that, in 2008 the company suffered an 11 million Euro loss, while everything for ticket sales for performances and DVD sales went perfect. That leaves little room for another avenue for business man Rieu who was being lead by romantic Rieu who through enthusiasm had built a dream castle. "It just got out of hand for a bit," Rieu said later on. Promptly admitting that he had been senseless. He ignored the facts, and let people who saw him as a brilliant businessman not knowing the facts, slip by. "It could have been disastrous with my company, but that luckily did not happen." With thanks to the RABO bank who assisted the Rieu Company through this difficult time by loaning millions of Euro’s. All Rieu had to do was to promise the bank not to do that anymore. And the credit institution asked for every belonging of the company as collateral. Not just the buildings the musician owns, but also his priceless Stradivarius and the company name André Rieu. Rieu is not afraid of losing everything because predictions indicate that the company will again be in the black if he continues to perform normally in the coming years. "When I go and perform again, everything will turn out alright and no one will have to be let go" he says.
Performance will now become more and more regular business, because all other time consuming commitments, due to Rieu’s health, can be done away with.
Back to Antwerp where fans tell him explicitly to take it easy to prevent future problems with his health. Because his being extremely busy, according to those in the know, was the big culprit. André is a cultural figure. Openings, lectures, it is a good thing he stopped with those according to Johan Devriendt. Hyacitha also has her thought about taking it easy. "Maybe, due to his age, (61) it is about time that he stops all this running around all over the world," she says. "Let’s be honest, all this flying back and forth to different continents and the associated jetlag, can never be good for a human being" she says concerned. Whether he takes her advice to heart remains to be seen. Next week Rieu and his Orchestra depart for Mexico, followed with an American/Canadian tour which will go deep into December and all the concerns about André still have not yet vanished from the André Rieu corner.
(©Translation by John)
Our Thanks to John who was up way past his bedtime translating this for us!

2 comments:

GeorgesV said...

André, The concert on 18 november in Antwerp was really great. On that thursday 18th, I am for the fourth time grandfather (opa). So when you told us what was so special on 2010, I only can agree that I've got the same feelings.
Thanks to all for the marvellous performance and have a very good concerttrip in Mexico and the US.Hope to see you back as soon as possible!

Chris T. said...

Hopefully, this upcoming tour will all go well, and his dr. is close at hand the whole time. Did I read right that he's a 4th time opa? Wow, I missed something somewhere! Who is the daddy of #4?
Anyway, hope Mexico & the U.S. is wonderful for everyone!

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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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