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June 2019
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2006-04-28 Eindhoven

from: Raoul Bonnet


Thanks to the Celtic Tenors "no cold Dutch wind can harm you"!


A quarter past eight: a brief shower passes over the city. But just before sunset the sky clears and the threat of rain has passed. Just in time for the PSO's open air concert on the Eindhoven market square. A very good sign!


The PSO played in honour of the 50th anniversary of the Technical University of Eindhoven. The soloists were Geert Chatrou and the Celtic Tenors. Even Wouter Vossen (who, many years ago, was a soloist in the PSO himself) came to see the rehearsals. Coincidentally, his Brabants Orkest (Brabant Orchestra) would also play that night, in the warmth and shelter of the Muziekcentrum. The PSO and its soloists braved the April weather.


A clear sky means low temperatures: it was dry, but also very cold. Many of the orchestra members wore extra coats, scarves and even gloves, and we, the audience, also pulled our coats tightly around us. All around us, lovely ice-cold beer was being sold, but I'm pretty sure the sales were disappointing.


The clouds had disappeared, but the wind, unfortunately, had remained. Jules had neglected to pin down his sheet music properly and had a hard time keeping it in its place. His right hand tamed the orchestra, his left the sheets on his music stand. It did go wrong every now and then, and whole songs blew off the stage. The security guards were always quick to retrieve them and hand them back to the Celtic Tenors. The order in which they were returned to Jules was completely random, which could have lead to a very interesting new composition. The tenors realised it wasn't strictly necessary to return the sheets, and just to keep the security guards occupied, they mischievously send a few sheets flying off the stage again...


It was a great concert. The pop meets classic formula has been a successful one for many years already, and Jules knows how to handle it. The PSO was professionally amplified, making some tunes on the horns and bassoons sound extra well. And at least five cameras provided live images on a big screen behind the orchestra. Because there was a small delay in getting the imagines on the screen, Jules could see an instant replay of his own direction on the screen!

For Geert Chatrou it was the fourth time this season that he joined the PSO on stage. This performance had a unique jazzy feel to it: during Vivaldi's Flute concerto the public gave a spontaneous round of applause after every virtuoso whistle solo. Jules had written funny lyrics to Land of Hope & Glory (Jules was justly proud of his orchestra, which was in top shape) and, partly to chase away the cold, everyone on the market sang along as loudly as they could. We were equally grateful for Shostakovitch's 2nd Waltz, which you could dance to without looking like an idiot.


And then there was that performance of those charismatic, elegant and talented master performers, the world famous Matthew, Niall and James, in short: the Celtic Tenors. But actually, the best reviews of their performance were written by members of their fanclub, who had come to Eindhoven just to hear their trio of demi-gods. Go to especially Veronika's review (he warms your heart and no cold Dutch winds can do any harm to you!).

I suspect the Official Celtic Tenors Fan Club grew that evening. For fan club member John described the following unforgettable event: I started to speak to a Dutch lady at around the interval time - she wanted to know what time they finished singing because she had her last train at 9.30. Suffice to say that she went away and booked herself a hotel room so as not to miss anything. It was a great evening indeed