A dream come true...

Until now this has been a year full of Rieu-surprises for us, the Dutchies,.... First in June the rehearsals in
amusement park `The Efteling`, in July the open-air concerts in Maastricht and last but not least.... 2 wonderful
concerts in `The Gelredome` in Arnhem.    I was at the concert in `The Efteling` in Kaatsheuvel with Janny and Ineke
and I also was at the concerts in Maastricht.  At every concert Andre said he now only dreams about princes and

Janny came up with the idea of dressing as princesses for the Gelredome-concert.  Thea and I were a bit
surprised... as you know Janny's husband Wim just passed away in January and she felt this as a kind of mourning

So, why not... we already had been enchanted by André!  It also had been her dream for years since seeing Thea,
Sonja and me in beautiful dresses in 2004 and this was a splendid occasion to do it.    Immediately after the
Maastricht concerts,Internet I start looking.   We did not have that much time to
the type of dresses we had in mind, due to our Summer vacations.  It was also
difficult to find a company where we could rent these types of dresses, mostly
they only had children's sizes.  After weeks of making phone calls, searching on
Internet, it was not as easy as we thought it would be and I was getting really
nervous, I finally found a company in Utrecht where we could rent the dresses
we had in mind.  In the meantime Janny already had found a dress, which she
could borrow from a friend.  What a relief that they also had the sizes we needed
And a few days before the concert (Saturday night September 15th), my
husband Ron and I drove to Utrecht to pick the dresses up and course I had
to try the dress on right away d (did I gain weight during our vacation?).  
Thank goodness, it fit fine and I felt like a real princess, dreaming of some
Enchanted Evenings, Princes, Knights in shining armor, castles, excitement
and.... abracadabra... up to Arnhem with Thea and Janny!!!  Unfortunately,
our other `Rieu-Girl` Ineke was on vacation in the U.S.A.

Our meeting-point was Rotterdam, so I took the train to get there. The Girlzzz
picked me up, also in a real `fairytale-mood` and we could only talk about the
prince and his princesses... haha!!  On our way to Arnhem we took a break
to get something warm to eat and of course to talk about the latest `
Rieu-gossip, it was a bit tough to find our hotel, because neither Thea or Janny
brought their navigation-system. The weather was so beautiful, so it wasn´t
that bad that it took a while longer to arrive at hotel `Parkzicht`. This was a small
but very nice (pension) hotel.  Very old-fashioned, in former days it has been a student house. We were happy to
unpack our luggage, because the dresses were folded in special covers, including the petticoats.

In the meantime our Belgian friends Gemma and Nand also arrived at the hotel and we surprised them with our
dresses. After checking in, they left for a quick bite to eat and we had to get ready for our `fairytale-night', complete
with crowns and magic wands.  What an excitement and fun we had with the anticipation.   It was about a 10 minutes
walk to the bus-stop and we were walking on eggs!
(Dutch saying, meaning, to walk very carefully)  The weather
                             beautiful and we did not have to wear our coats, so we just paraded as if we were acting in
                             a fairytale.  People were beeping their horns in their cars, we were addressed by passing
                             people and some even thought we were a part of André´s crew!! We arrived at the
                             bus-stop, there was a long row of fans waiting for a bus to get to the Gelredome-
                             stadium.   We had to buy a ticket before getting in, but waiting in that long line.  Oh, no, we
                             were princesses, so we kind of sneaked onto an empty bus.  

                             At the stadium were already many fans waiting to enter, we even saw a little girl with her
                             mother and she was also dressed up as a princess. Unfortunately she was too shy to have
                             her picture taken with us. There was even a old lady touching my dress... she wanted to
                             feel the fabric and asked me if this was real... very funny!!!! When we got in we saw the
                            Andre's beautiful chandeliers, which makes the atmosphere even more romantic. The stadium
                            is huge and holds about 23.000 people, so it felt great to step inside. We met some friends
                           and they too were very surprised about the way we were dressed. But. Showtime, hurry up André,
we are in the mood for a party!!!!!

It was a great concert, nothing really new, but a  surprising combination of past years shows. The Wiener
debutantes danced at the concert,  the Harlem Gospel Choir, The Platin Tenors, The Scottish Piper Band,  Mirusia,
Carmen and Suzan all were at this concert.  Suzan´s appearance as Sisi was like a fairytale... she was sitting in the
golden coach drawn by 6 horses and she came into the arena that way.  Marcel Falize played `Bolero` and every
time I hear that melody, I get goose bumps are all over my body.  We sang along with the Dutch songs and the fans
in the middle even got snowed under.   After a magnificent show it was about time to `run` to the stage for the
encores.  Haha, André had seen us already.... just look at his face!!!!

His dream came true, his princesses had come!!! It was sòòò funny and exciting, too. Believe me when I tell you I
was just shaking when I took my pictures... though he was kind enough to pose, as always!!

We were swinging and singing.   When we heard the first tunes of the bagpipe players, we were standing in front of
the stage and Janny became emotional. They played `Amazing Grace, that was one of Wim´s favorite songs. Janny
couldn´t hold back her tears and we saw André looking in our direction. Though it was
emotional to hear this song, Janny told us later this was a kind of relief for her to hear
it there for the first time after Wim´s funeral.  André was in a good mood and it was  
great to see the HGC, the Wiener debutantes, the bagpipe players, The Platin Tenors
and all the singers together on stage.

Wow, what an atmosphere this man can create!!! Nobody wants to have such a night
to come to an end, but we know all his concerts come to an end. André really took his
time with the encores and we really enjoyed it.  Right after the last tunes, we rushed
outside, because we were told that André would leave through the main entrance. A
group of fans were already waiting close to the buses, but no André... I think they
celebrated a little farewell-party, because once in a while a member of the JSO came
outside.  Especially for this night I was wearing high heels, otherwise the dress was too
long.   Normally I do not walk on high heels, only at special occasions. Anyway, my feet
really hurt,  I could hardly walk on them and we still had to walk to the buses to bring
us back to the hotel.... the Girlzzzz also got impatient, so we decided to leave. We had
been waiting long enough... and luckily we have had many chances to see André after
a concert.  We were tired but also very satisfied and we had a good sleep in the hotel.
After a cosy breakfast we left on our way home. We returned our dresses and looked at other dresses in the in the
catalogue....(for future adventures, haha!)  Without kidding... this wasn´t the first time that we surprised Andre. So,
for now the fairytale is over for us, but André will bring us new fairytales soon with a new CD and DVD, `André in
Wonderland`  coming out soon.  His dream is coming true (and so is ours!)


PS. There must have been a reporter at the bus stop,  because later there was a small article in one of our Dutch
The Gelderlander newspaper:
Rieu’s grootste spektakel vol romantiek    (Rieu's largest spectacle full of romance)

ARNHEM- Some ladies even specially dressed up for the concert: In bright pink Sissi-dresses they were waiting at
Central station for the shuttle bus to the Gelredom stadium.  With them about 23.000 fans attended this weekend the
concerts of Andre Rieu

                  Both concerts in Arnhem were fantastic!
                      Some additional information and pictures from our German friends Elke and Nino

On Friday September 14 there were 22.000 persons in the Gelredome stadium and Saturday September 15 there
were 25.000 people and the stadium was sold out!
The atmosphere was terrific and everyone was in a good mood.
The Gelredome is actually a football stadium, but it has a retractable roof.

André was in a very good mood, and there was great variety to the concert.  For instance the golden Carriage -
pulled by 6 white horses - carrying Sissi (Suzan Erens) was driven to in front of the stage.  Sissi got out, ascended
the stage and sang  “I belong to me”.

If you were not in Maastricht probably you don't know her yet, but Mirusia is Andre's new soprano.
She has a beautiful voice, is very pretty and is very nice.  She comes as an angel - not from above this time, but from
“down under”.

As a surprise André had invited the Harlem Gospel Choir to Arnhem. They created a super atmosphere.
Furthermore André had invited approx. 50 pairs of Debutantes from Vienna, on the right side and the left side of the
stage were dance floors. Where they danced next to the orchestra. It was a beautiful sight.
Marcel Falize was again the drummer in “Bolero”.  He received support from 18 drummers who joined him on stage
at the right and left side.   And when Manoe came on the stage to play the bagpipe, she too received support but this
time from quite a few bagpipe players.

Thus, after all a full program - and both evenings it lasted till 11:30 PM.   I believe, every fan was completely content,
as you can read in the many postings in Andre's guestbook.    
(Since Andre's guestbook is monitored and no negative
comments are posted, I read the comments in several Dutch papers and most were very favorable, although a few did not
like the screaming of the Gospel choir and some complained about the sound, most were very happy with the concerts)

The 2nd evening we (Gisela, Petra Schwär, Biggi and my husband and I) went to the buses in the hope to see
someone from the orchestra and get an Autograph from André.

After we had waited approx. 1 hr, all the orchestra came out separately.  Finally we could speak a few words with
everyone.   Carmen came too and she was very nice.  Likewise Mirusia was very sweet,  I had not seen her up close
before.     Bela came over, and I even got 2 Kisses from him.   (As thanks, because I had made a small gift for him) - I
would not want to come under suspicion!   Manoe walked by, Franco, Gary and Suzan.  She is also a darling.

And in the end there was André with Johan. He came to the waiting fans and actually gave autographs.
Just in case I had brought a picture of André with me,  one where he is doing Yoga exercises in his suit.
(I call it the floating swan).
He signed the picture for me.  I asked him if he remembered the picture,  but - like always - he unfortunately did not
Oh well,  Maybe it is asking to much if we expect him to have a conversation with every fan.

I had to come to the crowning conclusion that the journey to Arnhem had been really worthwhile.
These 2 concerts were beautiful!
Princesses for Andre
Andre thought they looked so
pretty he invited them for coffee
at the castle.
Our Royal beds
Elke and Nino Freitag from Germany