In fine tune for 2019
by Eileen Leahy | 7th January 2019
When it comes to classical music André Rieu is undoubtedly 21st century royalty. Well, quite literally in actual fact, as the Dutch violinist is known the world over as ‘the King of the Waltz’.
Every year the hugely successful musical maestro, who can boast album sales of 40 million worldwide, hosts an evening of seasonal music, dance and show tunes for his legion of fans in his hometown of Maastricht in the Netherlands.
This year however Rieu decided that he would do something just a little bit different by hosting a New Year’s concert in Sydney, Australia. Commenting on why he decided to switch things up for 2019 he said: “We were looking to record a very special festive concert that would be new and a bit different from the Christmas specials I have recorded during the last years.
“We had just been touring Australia so I thought, why not do Christmas on the beach? Sydney is one of the nicest cities I know and the audience and atmosphere are great.”
Although the beach idea was very tempting Rieu and his orchestra eventually settled on a more suitable venue for the concert: Sydney Town Hall - one of the most ‘outstanding’ historic places the musician says he has ever been in.
“I think my music fits perfectly in a venue like this,” continues Rieu. “It is a wonderful location to start the new year!”
The concert was filmed specifically for the big screen and will be shown in cinemas worldwide across the weekend of January 5 and 6. This event follows Rieu’s 2018 Maastricht shows which were broadcast in cinemas in July 2018 and became the top grossing concert event cinema release of all time grossing £1.7million at the box office in the UK and Ireland alone.
But Rieu’s first New Year’s concert wasn’t without its hiccups as Rieu goes on to explain: “During the concert we had a bit of drama as our cameras broke down and we had to do the entrance and almost the complete first half again. The audience was fantastic and they loved the excitement, thankfully! A true ‘backstage’ experience for them,” he laughs.
But if you weren’t one of the lucky few who got to see this temporary glitch during the concert then luckily you can still see the show – without the camera fail – at the Odeon cinema in Tunbridge Wells this weekend on Saturday and Sunday January 5 and 6 as it will be showing the concert in all its entirety.
As well as watching Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra perform you’ll have the chance to ‘go backstage’ too. The behind the scenes footage will be presented by Good Morning Britain’s Charlotte Hawkins who is a huge classical musical fan, presenting a weekend show on Classic FM.
André Rieu, who is one of the world’s highest-grossing touring artists says that doing this concert was an enjoyable experience albeit just a little bit different to what he and his orchestra, which has been going since 1987, are used to.
“Maastricht is my hometown and the concerts we have there on the beautiful Vrijthof Square in July are at the end of every touring year. We see a lot of Australians there, and it is so nice to have been ‘Down Under’ to taste the local atmosphere there!”
So what can the Odeon audiences expect from this very special concert which will be Rieu’s first New Year one screened in cinemas?
“We will perform wonderful waltzes, magnificent melodies from musicals and movies, as well as well-known arias from operas and operettas,” adds Rieu.
All music will be performed by the Johann Strauss Orchestra and choir, and the ‘outstanding’ Platin Tenors and there will also be a number of dance routines for audiences to enjoy too.
And as for what lies ahead in 2019 for both André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra the violinist says it will be business as usual: “We will have concerts in Germany, Eastern Europe and, of course, our summer concerts in Maastricht on the Vrijthof Square.
“Next year, I’ll turn 70 and I’m convinced, that I will reach the age of 120! So be prepared for another year filled with delicious music and wonderful concerts to look forward to!”
Tickets to see André Rieu’s first New Year’s concert performed at Sydney Town Hall can be obtained from andreincinemas.com
The screenings will take place at the Odeon cinema on January 5 and 6. Please see odeon.com for ticket prices and timings