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Mar 22, 2016

The Most Spectacular Stage of All Time

Photo Taken of First Concert inToronto - December 2007

It Was The Most Spectacular
Stage of All Time

Out of steel, concrete and light, the Viennese Castle Schönbrunn arose ... And for André Rieu it became a triumph and also a nightmare.

At his concerts André Rieu lets every attendee revel in a dream world. A world with magnificent stages, wonderful costumes and beautiful melodies. A world full of waltz and bliss - from 20 metric tons of steel and 20 Kilos (44lbs) of make-up. Is there a setting which would be more suitable than the Schönbrunn Castle - there where Empress Sissi lived?

So Rieu erected a castle replica in original size (130 Meters wide and 80 meters deep) on his tour over and over again. That took a lot of sweat - and money.  This tour would almost drive Rieu into financial ruin.


It is  like documents of a piece of musical history - a piece of hitherto unprecedented stage equipment.  First of all an enormous steel construction is erected with cranes, it is the framework for the fairy-tale castle. 800 Lights are mounted, 10 kilometer (6miles) of cable laid and 150 square meters of LED screens are hung. Add to that 640 movable light spots and 12 spotlights ... Everything had to look as authentic as possible. The wood floor was an exact copy of the inlaid wooden floor in the ballroom of the original castle. To the left and right of the stage, two fountains are being manufactured - out of concrete.  He deliberately avoided synthetic materials, should one of the spectators by chance come in contact with one of the fountains he would think it was a dummy.  And to top it off, two ice rinks are also being built.



Rieu Leaves Nothing To Chance

 Even with the beautiful costumes he is the chef.  He describes to his seamstress exactly how the costume of a singer or musician in the orchestra needs to look. Several pieces of material are shown to him - and then he decides. Of each costume four versions are tailored. Just in case that today he performs in Europe and tomorrow in the USA, the costumes of the night before are therefore not taken with them -  but are found already freshly laundered when they arrive on the other continent. Exactly the same with the larger instruments. A flutist can pack his or her flute in their hand baggage, but for the man with the contra bass - that is a problem. 

There are also additional instruments which have been timely shipped to the next concert arena. With Rieu, everything is perfectly planned to within the smallest details: so for the 35,000 spectators in the (of course) sold out  Amsterdam arena when the concert started, it felt as if they were actually in Vienna on a balmy evening.

The Schönbrunn tour started in Toronto, Canada, then on to Düsseldorf and Leipzig in Germany,  Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and on to Brussels in Belgium and when it went to Australia (here Rieu had to book 15,000 hotel nights), it became an overwhelming success.

Thank you to John for the Translation 

2 comments:

Francine Chavanon said...

J'aime cet article qui parle du perfectionnisme d'André qui ne laisse aucun détail au hasard. C'est vrai qu'il a bien failli se ruiner avec ce château qu'il a voulu aussi vrai que possible comme Schönbrunn, mais son talent et le soutien indéfectible de son public lui ont permis de se sortir de ce mauvais pas. Bravo, cher André et bonne continuation dans ta magnifique carrière. GOD BLESS YOU, Maestro ! Francine .

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a stage was that! I saw it in full size in Toronto in 2007 and later on I saw it erected in the Amsterdam ArenA (a little bit smaller because it was too big for the ArenA). It was amazing!! Read the story, which is the last story from the German Bild Star Magazine. With this last story we have translated and published the entire 100 pages of the Magazine for the Harmony Parlor and the movies website! Thank you John and Sue!
Ineke.

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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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"Hello to all my fans on The Harmony Parlor!"

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

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Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

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