“Do you want to see a concert by André Rieu this evening?”
“Yep, we have two extra tickets.”
“YES! YES! YES!”
Now THAT was a serendipitous surprise phone call to receive on a Sunday morning, don’t you think? I had seen the posters advertising the performance by world-famous classical violinist André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra at the Grand West Arena – but with tickets ranging from R400 to R1050, I hadn’t really given this much serious thought.
We met up with our friends, Johan and Isabella, for a bite to eat at the Spur before the show. Shortly before 18h00, we took our seats – and what seats these were! Right in the central block, slightly above ground level, so we had the most fabulous view of the stage, and of the two large screens on either side.
Mom-in-law is a huge fan of André Rieu, and had told us all about his concert at the Island of Mainau in Germany last year. But all her descriptions had not prepared me for such a wonderful, uplifting, heart-stirring and delightfully entertaining experience.
The combination of beautiful women and handsome men, the lovely dresses and gorgeous suits, the perfect-looking hair and make-up, the stage-setting and the stunningly painted backdrops, together with such marvellous music played with both passion and lightness, they transported all of us to an entirely different time: a time of ‘old-fashioned’ values and morals, a time where charm and good humour, style and elegance reigned, a time of exquisitely attired ladies and gentlemen… oh, and music… wow… such music…
They played numerous waltzes, including the “Schlittschuhläufer” (Ice-skaters), the “Blue Danube”, and “Wiener Blut”, but also the “Amboss Polka” and the “Radetzky March”. The pianist entranced us with the romantic “Ballade for Adeline”; the three Platinum Tenors wowed us with their powerful voices; and South African singer Kimmy Skota impressed us with her crystal clear soprano.
There was even a surprise performance by James Bhemghee, winner of SA’s Got Talent, who lent a South African flavour to the performance by singing, among others, “Sarie Marais”.
Although ALL the pieces were stunning, the one I thought was the most impressive piece was the “Hallelujah Chorus”, which almost literally raised the roof!
We demanded encore after encore, clapping our hands, stamping our feet, yelling with all our might, and even waving the South African flag. It was only after he had played “Guten Abend, Gut Nacht”, against a night-time backdrop of the moon and the stars, that the audience finally got to their feet to leave.
We were on such a heavenly cloud, that we didn’t want the evening to end yet. So we returned to the Spur for hot chocolates and waffles with ice-cream. What a fantastic evening this had been!
P.S. Many of the photos in this slideshow were taken by our friends – thank you for allowing me to put them up on my blog!