What's New Pussycat? The pictures!

What's New Pussycat? was a blast! We loved to see so many classical music fans and cat lovers brought together in one magical ballroom at the beautiful Cat Cabinet in Amsterdam. We are grateful for the fact that everybody left the museum with a smile on their face. Thank you all so much for coming and we hope to welcome you to our future concerts. Until then, we can think back and have a look at the lovely pictures. 

Special thanks to charming presenter Brendan Jan Walsh and to all the great musicians who dared to show their very best meows: Celia García-García, Bernadeta Astari, Femke IJlstra and Marc Daniel van Biemen. You were cattastic and utterly purrrrrfect!

Goed nieuws voor 'What's New Pussycat?'!

Pianiste Celia García-García, violist Marc Daniel van Biemen en sopraan Bernadeta Astari krijgen onverwacht versterking uit nog onverwachtere hoek. Zojuist is bekend geworden dat ook saxofoniste Femke IJlstra de katers en poezen van deze wereld zal bezingen tijdens What's New Pussycat?. 

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Picture perfect: classical music and image-building

Becoming a great popstar is all about image-building. And so is becoming a great classical musician. Only it is slightly different. Being too much of a showman gets people suspicious: is he trying to hide his musical flaws? The majority of people visiting the main concert halls around the world don't just enjoy classical music, no, they're true music critics, paying attention to every little detail: hitting the wrong note could ruin a career. In fact, some of the grumpiest critics get so caught up solely focussing on wrong notes, they seem to shut down their visual capabilities: barely any of them will ever complain about the hideous dresses, wrinkled shirts or greasy hairdo's that regularly make their appearance on classical music stages. What they don't realize is how tremendously unappealing this makes classical concerts to younger, or less classical-experienced people.

Of course it's not all about looks - there are many other ways to spice up a classical concert a bit: theatrical aspects, visual arts and interdisciplinary collaborations, for example. So let's add some freshness to it, people! However important it is to maintain the highest possible musical standard, there is nothing wrong with combing your hair every once in a while (sorry, I like to add a little drama to it), and why not pay a little more attention to detail when it comes to the theatrical aspects of a classical concert? On the long term, so I believe, this will lead to a more varied and larger audience. And isn't this what we all want?

Therefore it makes me happy to see the efforts being made to improve the image of classical music. For example, violinist Rosanne Philippens is organizing her own concerts in a warehouse (The Amsterdam Salon), members of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra are playing alongside visual artists and dancers at the IJ-Salon and the Concertgebouw organizes short concerts with cocktails afterwards (TRACKS) in order to attract a younger audience. And, bit by bit, slowly but surely, fashion is making its entrance at the classical concert stage: ensembles engage fashion designers in order to 'dress to impress' and orchestras consider to get rid of their tails. And however I don't think the latter is necessary, a little consciousness is already a big step forward. 

But there is a a thin line between being fashionable and being pretentious. As classical musicians (mostly) do not live a rockstar life, it would be a little out of place to dress them like rockstars. Also, when a soprano looks like a diva in advertisements, she needs to be a diva on stage. And this is exactly what very often goes wrong: the photographs don't match the actual stage appearance. So when capturing a classical musician in a photograph, the starting point must be the musician's true personality, that needs to be magnified and perhaps slightly polished. This way a photograph can represent the best version of a musician, while the audience is not being lied to, the critics don't need to feel distracted and, when done well and consistently, it could even make of a great musician a star.

Charlie Bo Meijering and his 'Magic Piano' by ©Lars Anderson

Charlie Bo Meijering and his 'Magic Piano' by ©Lars Anderson

Author: Mimy Jadoenathmisier

Theatertip: Voyager One

Gisteravond ging de voorstelling Voyager One van Touki Delphine in première op het dak van de Hofbogen in Rotterdam: de perfecte setting voor de communicatie met buitenaards leven. Wie zoekt naar 'eens iets anders' is hier aan het juiste adres: absurditeit, een confrontatie met onszelf en vooral heel veel humor. Maar wie zoekt naar schoonheid zal het ook vinden in Voyager One. Sopraan Bernadeta Astari betoverde het publiek met haar prachtige stem en transformeerde zo nu en dan tot een ware rockster: deze voorstelling is echt een aanrader voor iedereen. Het komt niet vaak voor dat ik na het zien van een 'opera' (dat begrip is nogal rekbaar, leerde deze voorstelling mij) buikpijn heb van het lachen. En als manager van Bernadeta zat ik natuurlijk apetrots te wezen! 

De voorstelling gaat nog een paar keer in Rotterdam en reist dan door naar Oerol en Over het IJ in Amsterdam. Voor alle speeldata zie deze link. Zorg dat je erbij bent! 

Lees hieronder een leuke recensie die vanmorgen verscheen in de theaterkrant: