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Mar 23, 2011

André Rieu Concert in Sun City SA

André Rieu in Sun City, South Africa
March 22, 2011 by *Catherine Keyl
The first time I was in Sun City, a resort in the Bophuthatswana homeland, was 25 years ago. It was then called "Sin City" mainly because South Africans could do things there which were normally banned, like gambling and watching a striptease. Now Sun City just a part of South Africa.
An unexpected invitation brought me back again. The resort is now four times bigger. Added to it is the Palace Hotel. Large bronze elephants stand in front of the entrance and theme of elephant tusks has been carried out into perfection: the hotel pens are elephant tusks as well as the handrails in the elevator and on the roofs of the hotel.
A pleasant atmosphere of excitement reigns; André Rieu will perform in the casino tonight. The sales lady in the hotel shop is over the moon. From a hotel guest she received a ticket for tonight. "I have heard that it is such a crazy concert," she tells me excitedly, "There are people who bought tickets for all three nights, that's how exciting they feel the concert is."
The concerts have been sold out for months already and although I've interviewed André Rieu several times, shamefully I must admit I've never been to a live concert. Let me be honest: I am very intrigued by his success (after all, he is one of the best selling artists in the world) but to now go to a concert ...
This evening 5000 South Africans went through the trouble of purchasing a ticket. I'm still skeptical. It is sort of a bit of sweet music. A fantasy world of glittering gowns, beautiful scenery of when life was good and music that our parents especially liked, is being presented. All that while bombs in Libya are being dropped.
Since the orchestra members are also staying in the Palace Hotel, and by talking to them I get an idea about the organization behind this world tour. They arrived in a chartered airplane, all have four of the same instruments and one of them is always en route to their next destination. The same goes for the scenery. They travel with about 100 people, orchestra, catering, technology and security.
In the center of all this, is André Rieu himself, walking relaxed through the hotel, being gaped at amongst others by a face lifted German lady who cannot get enough of him and always wants to touch him.
He looks great for his 61 years. Was a bit overworked a while ago, which you would understand if you see this huge circus around him.
"Well what was the highlight for you this year?" I ask him, and expected him to say: "The Australian tour or something that." But he says: "The birth of my four grandchildren. I am so touched when I see them, that's just not normal. In fact I think I am terribly in love with them, and now you find me to be a old softy?"
I mumbled something to the fact that I know of more tough guys who are completely disrupted because they became a grandfather.
To my huge delight, the concert begins with a photo of the four grandchildren. The man who was a street sweeper and had won a talent show is singing "Suikerbossie 'k wil jou he" and does it so beautifully that I'm crying like a little child.
Sort of heavenly, such a dream world of glittering dresses, sweet music, elephant tusks and glamour. It makes you forget the bombs.
Thanks to Ruud for sending this and John for ©Translating it.
*Catherine Keyl is a Dutch Reporter.

4 comments:

Maureen said...

Always a pleasure to read about Andres concerts and great to know that one more person has fallen under the spell of the Maestro and his music. ..... Maureen

Barbara said...

It's just wonderful how much Andre loves his grand children and i'm sure he really misses them when he's away. Andre i think has a very soft heart and he seems to be a very caring person and he and Marjorie have a very nice family. Is it a wonder every one loves his concerts it just seems to be one big family party, and this is what makes his concerts so special as he really makes you feel like you are a part of it. I love his concerts and i would not miss one for the world. Love you Blue Eyes, Barb

Hetty said...

Nice article. However, I don't think Andre is unusual in being touched when he sees his grandchildren. As a grandmother myself I can assure him that we all feel that way! I'm glad that they bring him so much happiness and help him to relax.
Hetty

christine_johnson23 said...

we are now counting down the days untill we see you all live in Newcastle on the 19th April

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