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12 things about Andre Rieu

Andre-rieuWho else was at the Andre Rieu concert lastnight at First Niagara Center? I had fun. Speaking of which, today I have bits of that tissuey fake snow everywhere -- on my wool skirt (which sits at home awaiting the lint brush), in my purse, on the blankets on the bed.

That snow got into everything!

This was my first time witnessing the spectacle that is an Andre Rieu concert. When I wrote the review, in a hurry as usual, I was kind of on sensory overload and did not get to mention everything. Here are a few things I forgot:

1. The little boy -- a toddler -- in the same row where I sat. He had on a party hat and a mini-tux, complete with ruffled shirt. How adorable was that? His sister had him up and waltzing during "The Blue Danube."

2. After the snow came down it was sitting in piles all over us in the floor area. Just for the heck of it, I scooped up a couple of big handfuls, reached around the woman to my left, and flung the snow into the face of the man to her left, probably her husband. I didn't know either of them. The guy reacted without missing a beat. Deadpan, like out of "I Love Lucy," he scooped up a couple of handfuls, reached over and dumped them on my head. Buffalo! You gotta love this town.

3. Thought the second set dragged at the beginning especially with Rieu's protracted humor about latecomers, then a long slapstick skit about I forget what. Even with Andre Rieu there are moments you just want to say, shaddup and play.

4. What I wrote in the review about seeing Rieu's smiling face in my sleep ...


... I was not kidding.

5. Rieu can sure make that accent work for him. "Every day I get mails and letters, 'Andre, your music, it makes me happy all the time.'" Etc. When he gave that speech about the soprano singing to him "in my studio," it cracked me up. His accent just made it so funny. "It was the most beautiful voice I had ever heard in my studio." Hahahahaaaaa!

6. Of the three tenors Rieu brought out, the German guy was the best.

7. You wonder about these singers. We were hearing the amplified, but they all had beautiful voices. My brother George and I were talking about them on the way home from the concert. They must wonder about the future. Should they stay with Andre Rieu? It's a good paycheck. It looks like a good life. On the other hand they must lose respect in the opera world, where they are probably viewed as sellouts. So, what to do? That German tenor, he is probably thinking gee, I had hoped for Bayreuth some day, now here I am doing this, it's good work, but I'm not getting any younger, and ... Anyway, tough choices.

8. In contrast, I doubt the pianist is conflicted. She had better watch out because I want her job. She had next to nothing to do, did not have to play anything from memory, her music sounded super-easy, and if she made a mistake no one would know the difference because you could not hear her anyway. And yet she had such an exalted position, up there in the sky above the musicians, wearing that "Gone With the Wind" gown. I want to be her. I would sure have less stress in my life, I will tell you that.

9. Speaking of wishful thinking, I would love to be a bug on the wall and see how this tour works. Do they have fun on the road? What kind of a boss is Andre Rieu? Did they stay overnight in Buffalo or go on to their next destination? I would love to get a look at Andre Rieu's wife, too. I hear she is his manager.

Oh, look, here is an early picture of the Andre Rieus that I found.

Rieu's wife's name is Marjorie.

10. As conductor William Eddins said in my Saturday feature about Andre Rieu, Rieu gets a lot of things right. One thing Eddins mentioned was how Rieu engages the audience. The musicians all smile and look alive -- there is a lesson in that for a lot of orchestras, not to mention jazz and even rock groups. At the same time, they must get a little sick of constantly having to catch each other's eye and smile. As the night wore on you could see that wearing thin.

11. What the heck, why stop at 10. Checking Rieu's schedule I see that Thanksgiving is the only day in the next week they have off. They are playing tonight in Ottawa, Wednesday in Montreal. Then it is back to the United States for five more dates, then back to Europe. They have an extensive tour in Germany, including in our sister city, Dortmund. They must be popular there.

12. I get the sense Rieu is a religious guy. I just do. The way he did the "Hallelujah Chorus" and "America the Beautiful." It is just a feeling I got. As I joked to my brother George, that was a very Republican evening of entertainment. I am just saying.

OK, as Rieu told us last night when we were begging for encores: "Don't you have anywhere you have to go?" We have lingered long enough.

So long, Andre Rieu!



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