Maastricht July 6, 7 and 8, 2007

by Ineke Cornelissen and Ruud Elshout / Sonja

Ruth Morgan, who was already there, joined us. At home I had sewed very big blue banners to be fixed outside our windows of hotel DuCasque and I had asked the fans, who would be coming to Hotel DuCasque, to bring a small flag of their country to wave.

The weather was rainy all week, like a Dutch fall.

On Thursday fifth, we went to see André’s studios outside Maastricht. André and his JSO were rehearsing. The busses were in front. Thursday night Frank Steijns played the St. Servaas bells (carillon) for two hours en we enjoyed the concert. From our hotel window we looked over the square and we saw the chairs coming, the Bavaria beer, and other preparations for the concerts. We saw the “famous” webcam above the room with the balcony, which was

the room where Gemma and Nand (from Belgium) stayed. This is the webcam which provides fans around the world such a lovely view at the Vrijthof square!  

Friday afternoon we were able to enjoy the sound check from our hotelrooms. André was riding his bike, giving instructions to the singers at the stage and to the sound crew at

the very back side of the square.

Friday night we had the fans dinner (44 persons) at Café Charlemagne












The program ended with the impressive “Bolero” (Ravel).At the end fire balls exploded from the roof of the stage.

The surprise of the encores was Vicky Leandros, a Greek singer.

In my youth she had a few hits in Germany. She must be 60-plus by now, but she did a great job and she sure did not look her age.

Saturday we had tickets for the concert. A remarkable date: 07-07-07! The Efteling had made that special day the day of the fairy tales! At the fans picnic in the park at noon that Saturday, I counted 52 fans and two camera teams! One crew was the Dutch TV (TROS) making another “soap opera” around André, and the other crew was from the German ZDF Channel, following a

German fan (Simone Arnold) on her way to an André concert. That program will be called: “37 Degrees”, and will be aired at Aug. 21st in Germany. In the Maastricht city center I ran into the bald JSO horn player, who I did not know by name, but who I had seen many times in the orchestra. He told me that his name is Hans Verhulst. (On the picture he has some hair (picture was taken in the Efteling), but in Maastricht he was bald again).

Every night they cleaned all the colored pieces of paper, blown into the air by the confetti canons during the concert, from the square. Due to our open windows the confetti even floated into our hotel rooms!

The first part of the Sunday concert fell into the water. I am enclosing some “different” pictures. I like to do that, for everybody has taken the normal concert pictures!! You see Ruud Merx, waiting for the concert, using his trombone as an umbrella on his head. During the concert the audience was not happy, complaining about umbrellas in front of them (no view), leaking water on the next row….. André had to ask twice to put the umbrellas down. Finally André became irritated and told the audience if it was not quiet they would not play any further. People who refused to put their umbrellas down (maybe they did not bring a poncho) left the concert. (During this concert André dropped his text

about Clara!). However, from our hotel room, we could see people dance in the streets, close together under an umbrella…. Very cozy!! Fans who were at the square, told me it was not nice to sit there, applauding underneath a poncho…  

Fortunately, after the intermission, the rain stopped. Than the concert became the usual party! Some fans with tickets for the Sunday concert, stayed dry in their hotel rooms and went down to the square, when the rain stopped. Vicky Leandros was at the encores again.

After the concert we met Carmen and Mirusia (walking hand in hand from the stage to the “theater of the Vrijthof”, where André has his after the concert party). The girls are very friendly and they were patiently posing with fans for pictures.

Most of the fans left Maastricht at Monday. (The DuCasque hotel receptionist said he had never seen so many fans, kissing and hugging each other to say goodbye!). We saw André Rieu menus and AR-vlaais all over the place this time! Ruth and Jim Morgan and I stayed till Tuesday, to travel by train from Maastricht to Austria for the Vienna concert. That is why we saw the tearing down of the stage and building material. We saw the “golden” carriage disappear into a big truck, together with a part of the Greek stage pillars, to leave for the Rieu storage, I assume.

Even the Limburg “vlaai” bakeries were in the mood for the André concerts!

Wasn’t it a wonderful time in Maastricht??

Carmen sang the touching “O, mio babbino caro” (Puccini). The tenors sang “Granada”. Mirusia sang “Concerto pour une voix” in

her angel outfit. Susan came by “golden” carriage, drawn by six horses, as empress Sisi to sing “I belong to me”. Surprise with the encores was: no Vicky, but the Limburg pop band Rowwen Hèze.

Click below to play their song.

On the fourth of July we had the great pleasure to pick up our Danish friends Anne Buch and Marian Hilleberg from the Amsterdam Airport, to drive together to Maastricht for the André concerts. We celebrated our getting together with champagne and cheese at our hotel room in Maastricht.

Brian Dickinson,

dressed as a

magician, was

singing “Diggi

Daggi "

(Mozart, Magic

Flute). As an

Egyptian high

priest he sang:

“O, Isis and

Osiris” (Mozart),

and from Porky

and Bess “I’ve

got plenty of