I'm a freelance writer and director of ON THE HOUSE.
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Each year, maestro André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, visits his homeland Maastricht in Netherlands for a grand concert spectacular.
Right throughout Australia, on the 30th and 31st of July this year, Australians had the opportunity to get a glimpse of this majestic annual event at Vrijthof square by watching the concert in cinemas.
The Vrijthof square in Maastricht becomes an outdoor concert hall without a seat spared. The square is complete with restaurants and hotels. It is buzzing with excited people in the restaurants, watching through hotel windows, in the arranged seats of the square. The joy and energy is addictive. Us in the cinema are feeling this energy.
Then André Rieu walks along the footpath of the square waving and smiling at the people on the street. Right behind him is the orchestra. Each female performer wears a colourful ballroom dress whilst the men looked smart in their black suits.
The way the concert is presented in cinema, it is easy to forget that you are not right there in Maastricht. The programme showcases wonderful melodies – delightful waltzes, well-loved opera pieces and musicals.
André Rieu and his orchestra entertain generously, tirelessly. Andre is a charmer and showman. He jokes and enchants people with his playfulness. He is the centrepiece – the main violin and the conductor. The musical arrangements are fabulous. Not only is the musicianship superb, the musicians are amusing with their jokes, gestures, and facial expressions.
The live audience, as well as the people in the cinemas, are moved. The event evokes emotions - people are crying, kissing, dancing, and hugging.
Three hours go by in an eye blink. It makes sense that an event like this should only end with spectacular fireworks – as it does.