Monique on a Pink Cloud.
February 3rd 2006, Concert in Münster (Germany)
Good Morning, dear Andre Friends on this very early morning. (It is still before six) Since I am awake
anyway I will start writing you all my report. I can say it was just Fantastic!!!!
It was Friday morning, Feb 3, and I was up bright and early, my traveling case was already packed and I
had breakfast with my daughter Marissa.(My husband Ron was already to his work). Took Roxy, our dog for a
relaxed walk. I really enjoyed that morning, because I knew I would see André that night in Germany. I
took the bus to the train station of Haarlem and was right on time to catch the train to Rotterdam.
It takes about an hour by train to get to Rotterdam, and my friend Thea was waiting for me. Together we
would travel to Germany. First I congratulated her with her 3rd grandchild. Just the day before her son
Marco became father of his first child.
We had to drive to Coesfeld where our friend Chrissy lives. On the way we listened to Andre's music and
talked about everything and nothing. However the further we drove East the colder it got. We saw frost
and icicles on the trees, it was beautiful and we enjoyed the drive tremendously. We took a coffee break
at the border and after about a four hour drive we arrived in Coesfeld. Our hostess and friend Chrissy
and her husband Manfred were already waiting for us with the champagne.
Our German friend Simone was already there, she had to drive three hours to get to Chrissy. After three
years we are in the habit to start with a champagne toast to our friendships. Our friendships thanks to
Andre. With a glass of champagne and a snack by the fireplace, our evening started out great. We had
not seen each other in over a year, so we had much to catch up on. We had a wonderful dinner by
candlelight, served by our bed and breakfast host and hostess, they are wonderful people and they
spoiled us with German hospitality and then it was time to get ready. In fact we were already running a
bit late. Us girls need a lot of time when we go to an Andre concert. (Even if they do not go dressed as nuns
or in hoop skirts, Sonja)
Manfred warned us that we had to hurry up also because of the weather, by now it was cold and misty
outside. Chrissi lives in the country, so there is not much lighting on the roads.... It was about an hour
drive to the concert hall. Thea decided to drive, I do think we also had some bad luck. It started with
delay when we were stuck behind a salt truck. Then the salt truck and we of course had to stop for a
train. Anyway we were started to get worried. We arrived in Münster, and it was just 8 o'clock. THE
CONCERT HAD STARTED!!! We still had to find a parking space and when we finally parked, it was a
long walk to the "Münsterhalle".
My, oh my, I was wearing boots with high heels, so I could not walk that fast. It was also a risky to run,
because it was slippery on the streets.... when we finally reached the "Münsterhalle", we had to wait
outside while André was playing. Thank Goodness, we were not the only people who were too late. We
heard him and the JSO playing the last notes of "Entry of the Gladiators". When the song was finished
we were allowed to get in. Just imagine ... we had been in a hurry, still wearing our jackets and still out of
breath .... so we came in the Hall and we felt embarrassed to walk to our seats.
We had seats on the first row, so there was no way to slip from André's eyes. We went to our seats as
bold as possible. How would he react??? I did not dare look at the stage, this had never happened to
us. Of course, he saw us coming and he joked about us being late, in German. First he mentioned
Chrissi and Simone and then he saw Thea and me and said: "Oh I see, they are the Dutch !!!" There was
a big spotlight shining on us and I was so embarrassed, but of course we had to laugh. The audience
started applauding, we quickly took our coats of and sat down. When I saw André's face, he smiled at us
and had a naughty look in his eyes. I think he was kind of teasing us !!! The ice was broken, what a night
this would be !!! Just imagine, seats in the first row and right in the middle. I have been to many
concerts, but I NEVER was too late ...
As always André surprised us with a magnificent show. It was great to see the soloists again, though I
missed Carmen a lot. She was such a charming young lady with a beautiful face and outstanding voice.
Now there was Kalki Schrijvers singing with Carla and Suzan. I saw
her for the first time and I felt a little disappointed. She does not have
the stage presence of Carmen. I cannot give my opinion of her voice,
because she didn't sing solo. Of course it is hard for her to take
Carmen's place and of course people have to get used to her. This
process must grow, though I really missed Carmen. It was good to see
Carla, because last year in Maastricht I heard she also would leave the
JSO. There were also the "Platin Tenors". They have great voices but
Andre kept calling them Casanovas and that was definitely tongue in
cheek. We were kidding about that and made up names for them.
It was great to see the "blacksmith-act" with the anvil again. Roland Lafosse is the smith with very sexy
muscles (oh ladies ....) and funny Nöel Perdaens (horn) must compete with him. They are such a crazy
couple, we had a blast !!!
When Suzan came up in her beautiful black dress, I got goose-pimples all over. The way she sang "Don't
cry for me Argentina" was more than beautiful. She got a well deserved standing ovation.
Goose-pimples were also there when Frank Steijns played "Concierto de Aranjuez" with his carillon. So
beautiful to see all this when your seat is so close to the stage. His competition with Marcel Falize was
also great. Every time we got surprised.
What a shame that nobody was waltzing on "The blue Danube". Anyway .. I only saw a little girl dancing
on her own, I think she was on ballet-lessons, and she did a great job !!!
Every show André asks where the people in his audience are from. First he asks if there were people
from Münster in the Hall. Then he asked some people where they live. Then he asked Thea where she
was from and she said : "Rozenburg". André (with a naughty look in his eyes again) just pretended not to
hear what she said, so he asked again. Then he pointed in my direction, but I thought he meant my
neighbor .... "And where are you from" ?? he asked. He really overwhelmed me and I said : "Me"???
Thea started to laugh and she nodded. I started laughing too and I couldn't speak one word, but I really
wanted to say Haarlem !!!! Then André said : "HOLLAND"!!!!!! Oh my, he really was in splendid form, and
all the faces he pulled. He clearly was having a good time.
After the intermission the bell rang too late and we again were late, but thank goodness many people
were late and we were not as noticeable. When we were in our seats people still were coming in.
Andre pulled all kind of faces and copied them walking in late. I have never seen him do that before, he
was so naughty.
After the intermission it went so fast and before you know it, it is time for the encores. We were very
close to the stage, we of course stood in front of the stage right away. When André started the encores
Thea and I started the polonaise. A few people followed, but not that many. In Holland this is different,
more people like the polonaise and also more people dance.
The balloons came down and we saw Pierre making photos. He was looked cute, wearing his hair in a
tail. He seemed very relaxed and was shooting away. I could see the proud look in his eyes when he
was watching Suzan and André. I think I was moving too much during making the photos, because a lot of
them were blurry!! But for heavens sake, who can stand still during André's music, ha ha !!!!
The evening went too fast and André ended the encores, like last year, with Guten Abend, Guten Nacht.
When we left the hall we saw some members of the orchestra leaving too. I had a nice chat with Suzan.
She is so sweet and adorable. I gave her a big compliment about the black dress and also her perfect
make-up. She told me the girls do their own make-up and she also told me that she would remove that
"stuff" on their way home in the bus. She was smoking again, what a shame ... When I asked her for the
ring that Pierre gave to her, she proudly showed it to me. Carla was also on her way to the bus and I
made a photo of the two of them, such a sweet couple of friends.
And finally there he was, our André !!! He was kind of relaxed, but a little in a rush. He gave his fans a
card with autograph and I was the last one who got one.
Pierre was also willing enough when I wanted to make a photo of him. Then I saw Ronald Gerards
standing apart waiting for someone. Franco Vulcano came outside and I called him for a photo. How nice
all these people are, never saying no for a photo.
The buses were leaving and we waved goodbye. Because it was pretty cold, we quickly walked back to
the parking lot, on our way back to the car we heard a car hooting. We saw Franco and Ronald in the car
waving at us. We waved to them and Franco was opening his window. I was just kidding and I said "Hey,
we still have some wine and pizza left, do you want to join us ??" The car was on the opposite of the
road, so we could not reach them. Again we heard the hooting and they were waving again and suddenly
they were gone. That was a shame, it would have been fun to spend a few hours with them !!!
After getting back in Coesfeld, Manfred was waiting for us with a bottle of champagne and of course we
had to tell him all about our adventures. It was four o'clock before Chrissy and I went to bed and I had a
terrible headache the next day. I know ... it was my own fault, ha ha !!! After having a huge breakfast, we
started to get ready for our way back home. It was hard to say goodbye again, because it will last
another year before we see each other again. This was the third time in Münster and it's already a
tradition to visit one of André's concerts there.
Like always it was a again a wonderful adventure, and every time is different and this was such a fun
experience. Now I have to count 5 more months before I see André and the JSO again in Maastricht, his
beautiful hometown. Until then I am staying on my pink cloud. Who knows we will meet you there.
born Feb 2,
Andre Friends Monique and Thea, like I said; In hoop skirts and as
nuns to Andre's concerts. They even talked me into a hoop skirt.
Chrissy, Simone, Monique and
Thea to our friendship
Thea and Monique
Chrissy and Simone
Ah, it is the Dutch who are late
Carmen Monarcha is missed
Carla Maffioleti, Suzan Erens and
Kalkie Schrijvers who replaced
Concierto de Aranjuez"
With the Three Platin Tenors
Roland Lafosse and Noel Perdaenz.
In 1997 this sketch was done in Europe and can
be found on the European version of the 'In
Concert' video, taped in Haarlem.
In 1997 Roland did this with Marc Doomen.
Ladies I have a treat. Pictures of Roland in 1997,
as you can see he has not changed at all.
Looking good Roland!!!
Thomas Greuel, Gary Bennett
and Bela Mavrak
carillon, xylophone and violin
Frank, Marcel and Andre
Guten Abend, Guten Nacht
And maybe we will see each
other again next year!
Now here is the real Casanova
of the Orchestra. Franco. Watch
those Italians, Thea. That is the
had a babygirl,
Dec 17, 2005
What a proud 'Oma' Thea is with
two new grand babies.