Amsterdam: Part 2

As you know, we are spending as much time taking in music and art whilst traveling abroad.  Amsterdam is no exception.  Timing is the challenge in all of the big cities that we’ve visited.  August is summer, and summer means off season for many of the big organizations that we might otherwise get to enjoy.  In short, all the major symphonies are on hiatus.  So, we have been taking in “summer stock” as they say, and doing a pretty good job finding wonderful local art and music to enjoy.  Amsterdam offered up 3 nice days of entertainment.  First up was the Netherlands Theater Festival.  It started this weekend and is held in the Stadsschouwburg theater.  This late 19C building has a beautiful foyer, but has been built and added on to, up and back behind the theater:


There are many plays through out the festival but one of the few with English supertitles was Medea by Simon Stone.  This is a recent adaptation of the classical tragedy which goes like this:  Jason and “Medea” are married.  He has an affair while Medea is in hospital for psychological issues.  She finds out about the affair when she gets home.  The situation unfolds and she unravels, and ultimately does the old murder suicide of all involved (including her two kids) leaving Jason to himself.  Uplifting stuff……But extremely well done.  A sold out house and standing ovation.

Organ recitals are a staple of old churches and cathedrals in Europe.  We have heard several organs in said places thus far, but this was an actual concert at the Westerkerk Church.  Here is the church steeple and the program:



The church was adjacent to the Anne Frank Haus.  Liz was able to capture about 40 seconds of the recital. Unfortunately, I would need to “upgrade to premium” to post the video on this site.  If anyone wants to hear the clip, I can email it to you.  Here is a selfie of two “gorgeous people in Amsterdam”.  I know, I can hear the gagging sounds from here:


Finally, Vonderpark (central park of Amsterdam, on a small scale) hosts concerts, plays and dance every Friday night.  We were able to see a modern dance troupe complete with rock and roll band performing all original and quite good music.  I can’t remember the name of the organization. The pic is above.

Sorry that it is blurry, but there was quite a bit of movement on stage.  Just to finish off, two more pics, one of another steeple and a shot of the Amsterdam Concert Hall which is called Concert Gebouw:


One last thing.  There is a direct taxi service that runs from Amsterdam to the airport which is about 15 minutes drive.  For some reason, all of the taxis are Teslas.  In the US, these S models start at $90,000.  That is some taxi ride!  Onward, to Belgium!


Author: euro916

I am a college professor in the music department of Utah State University. I will start my sabbatical on May 1, 2016 and plan to document the year's experiences in this blog. The sabbatical consists of musical endeavors in Europe/UK for 3 months, and half a semester as guest artist in a couple of California universities. Thanks for following!

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