First time I went to the Concert Gebouw was in 2014. It was a treat from my boss at the time, Riny Reiken from Proeflokaal ‘In de Olofspoort’. We went to watch “Hans and Grietje” which, by the way, is one of my all-time favourite operas. It was a marvellous experience. Besides being my employer, Riny also played the role of a musical tutor in my life. She believed I should pursue a career in singing. I have sung a lot at the “Lied and Klassiek” evenings at the tasting house that this special lady runs and, together, we used to sing a duet from Humperdinck’s opera: “Abends will ich schlafen gehn”. This song moves every part of my soul whenever I hear it.
Now that I have introduced you to my special bond with opera and lyrical singing, you can imagine how enthusiastic I got when the Amsterdam Culture Club invited me to join another of their outings, this time at – just guess – the Royal Concertgebouw.
As if it weren’t enough, I could bring other five fellow bloggers along. One of them got sick and couldn’t come but Andra Stefan, Jan Arsenovic, Dana Marin, and Claire Bissel made my evening all the brighter with their cheerful presence. All four of them are passionate about what they do but, most importantly for me, they are awesome colleagues.
We were welcomed with drinks at the Juliana Foyer and quickly engaged in conversations with other members of the Amsterdam Culture Club. Everyone seemed to be excited about being at the Concertgebouw: for many, it was their first time there. The crowd was easy going and people were open to meeting each other and exchanging experiences about the social and cultural life in Amsterdam.
I must say that the whole event was impressive, especially for first-timers. I mean, the Juliana Foyer, where the reception and the after-drinks took place, is nothing less than the room used by the Royal Family whenever they visit the premise. Photos of the Royal Family’s visits were displayed in the room, forming a permanent exhibition named after “Koninklijk bezoek”. After the welcome speech, we proceeded to the show: Symphonic Cinema: Ravel’s Daphis and Chloé.
The Symphonic Cinema results from the combination of Cinema and Music and Dutch film director Lucas van Woerkum is responsible for the concept. He came up with the idea of making movies for classical pieces and, in this case, the film he directed from scratch was inspired by Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe. We watched thus a work of art x 2: van Woerkum’s film was projected above the stage while the musicians of the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra were playing the musical piece, led by conductor Benjamin Wallfisch. It was outstanding.
If you have read about my previous experience, you already know that the cool thing about the Amsterdam Culture Club is that its members always have access to talks and presentations with the artists. This time it was no exception, with van Woerkum (left) and Wallfisch (right) giving the audience great insight into their creative process.
Finally, we had to have a picture of our little blogging-family taken. It was a luxury to have been able to go out with these friends on a “blogger’s mission”. Thank you so much Amsterdam Culture Club for this opportunity! I can’t recommend you check out ACC‘s outings highly enough. The membership is free and it is a perfect opportunity not only for cultural exploration but to meeting some like-minded cultural oriented people, as well. Next event is “Tristan + Isolde” at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet on July, 14 and, putting it plainly, I WANT TO GO.
Check Amsterdamian’s blog post on this event as well!