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Zagreb concert (Croatia) 25 November 2022
A journalist and a producer of the Croatian weekly women’s magazine “Gloria” attended the Maastricht concerts in July 2022. André Rieu was planning some concerts in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Currently he announced the first concert on Nov. 25 2022, and the journalist published a nice interview. Interview with André Rieu in the Croatian women’s magazine “Gloria” of Nov. 6th 2022. Author: Kruno Petrinovic. Translation: Diana D Le. The personal bankruptcy of the world king of waltzes was the best advertisement. His Johann Strauss orchestra is the longest-running and largest private classical ensemble in the world (only the cold drive costs him a million euros per month). He lives with his wife Marjorie, his youthful love in a medieval castle from the 15th century. On November 25, 73-year-old violinist and conductor André Rieu will arrive at the Zagreb Arena for the third time. We spoke in his hometown of Maastricht, where this summer he played fifteen concerts on the city's central square for 180,000 spectators, who came to the Netherlands from a hundred countries, and the unprecedented show in Rieu's musical magic included lavish fireworks, light effects, artificial snow, confetti, and 250 performers on stage. "We wanted to perform, because we haven't played in front of an audience for two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. With this tour, we celebrate life, music and a new beginning for all of us," says André Rieu. What can the audience expect in Zagreb? AR: Spectacular two-and-a-half-hour entertainment in three-quarter time, a fantastic show with the most famous waltzes, melodies from the most famous musicals and movies, opera arias, performances by three tenors and world-famous sopranos, and a few more surprises. How do you remember Croatia? AR: For the hospitality and enthusiasm of our audience and host Alen Ključe and his team from Starprodukcija, people full of humor who sing and dance with us during the entire concert. The food is fantastic, the people are great, the landscapes are incredible, so you have to fall in love with the country at first sight. Have you ever been on vacation on the Adriatic? AR: No, I don't have time to rest, because I work a lot, so every year I can afford only a few days in Rome. But my wife Marjorie told me about Split, Makarska ,and Tučepi, where she spent her summers as a student, and our older son Marc loves Istria with his family. How did you survive the pandemic financially, emotionally, and privately? AR: It was the most difficult period, because many families depend on me and the income from the tours. However, we survived thanks to the help of the state, and the cooking class saved me from dark thoughts, which I am not prone to. I learned to bake cakes, pies, and make homemade pasta. Was your wife a teacher? AR: No. I started with courses on YouTube, and I perfected my skills at the masterclass of the famous chef Cees Holtkamp. In addition, I devoted myself to the role of grandfather and spent a lot of time with our five grandchildren. Everyone is crazy about music and that makes me the proudest grandpa in the world. Where did the closing of the borders find you? AR: In Miami, Florida, on an American tour. We packed up the same day and were at home in the Netherlands the next day. In crises and bad times, home is the best, ha, ha... What was the most important thing you learned during that period? AR: That solidarity and mutual support are the most important, just like curiosity and the desire to learn new things. Optimism is innate to me, because I was born on Sunday morning, which in my homeland is considered a sign of happiness and prosperity. But none of that luck without a lot of work and lifelong learning. That's why I'm a perfectionist in my work, everything has to be arranged down to the last detail in order to convey energy, knowledge, and love for music to the audience. The addiction to this infection does not stop in my case. Have you ever gone overboard in your desire to give the audience an unforgettable experience? AR: That. On the world stadium tour in 2007, where the scenography was a faithful replica of Vienna's Schonbrunn castle, 125 meters wide, 35 meters high, and 35 meters deep, with ice rinks, fountains and six-wheeled carriages. We didn't even manage to cover ourselves with fifty thousand tickets sold per concert. The minus was big in the end, but I still consider it my best advertisement and an investment in the future that paid off. What else do you want? AR: I want to go down in history as the first musician to hold a concert at the North Pole or on the Moon. And I also want to perform together with Bruce Springsteen: just imagine The Boss and the king of the waltz together on stage. We are working on it, you will find out everything in time. Do you feel strong enough to realize it all? AR: Absolutely. I want to live, and in my case that means performing, for at least another forty years. Retirement and stopping concerts are not an option for me. How will you achieve this? AR: I take care of my health every day, it is my priority. The most important thing is that I enjoy my work, I laugh a lot, because laughter is the best for disease prevention, just like the love and attention of my family, members of the orchestra and our audience, which I am surrounded by. In addition, I watch what and how much I eat, I move a lot and I am intellectually active. How do you relax? AR: I read a lot, solve sudoku, enjoy the singing of birds in the tropical garden of the Orangerie in the courtyard of our castle, and walking with our dogs by the river. Do you regret anything? Perhaps the only reason is that I am not a worthy dance partner for my wife. Marjorie was a ballerina in her youth, and now she's been dancing folklore for four decades, so I look funny on the dance floor with her. That's why I prefer to conduct and play, and let others dance. What's the worst thing that happened to you on stage? AR: I once forgot to bring my instrument to a concert, a Stradivari violin from 1667, which I always performed with. I simply took the wrong box... Okay, I had a different instrument, but you can imagine how I felt. What would you like to be remembered for? AR: As a man who gave his whole self to make the world a more beautiful place by infecting people on all continents with his love for waltzes and music. Personally, I would like my descendants to remember me as a devoted father and grandfather who raised them with a lot of love and attention. If so, I believe that there will not be a happier soul in heaven than mine.
André with journalist Kruno Petrinovic in Maastricht 2022.
André with Gloria’s producer Alan Kljuce in Maastricht July 2022.
Zagreb Arena.
November 7, 2022 Croatia: Zagreb Arena A journalist and a producer of the Croatian weekly women’s magazine “Gloria” attended the Maastricht concerts in July 2022. André was planning a concert in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Currently André Rieu announced the concert now, for Nov. 25, 2022, and the journalist published a nice interview.
November 25, 2022. From Facebook Nathalie Bolle (flute player): “Thanks Zagreb!!”
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