Three years after reviewing concerts in the Holland Festival for Le Bon Journal, I was finally invited to attend their press conference to preview what’s to come in June 2010. The 63rd edition of this annual cultural feast will open on 1st June with a homage to the voice of the Arabic world.
At the press gathering on 2nd March at the Muziekgebouw aan’t Ij in Amsterdam, I spoke to a broadcast journalist who was looking forward to interviewing the young Egyptian singer. Amal Maher will sing Kalthoum’s classical Arabic songs, accompanied by orchestra on the opening night. Perhaps that was the reason we were served fresh mint tea and Middle Eastern delicacies that afternoon.
Represented by the theme “In Flux,” the leitmotif of the 2010 Festival programme is “tradition as inspiration for innovation.” This conjures up remixes or remakes of traditional plays such as Pygmalion, Shakespeare’s As You Like It, and others. Certainly the idea is that the past offers inspiration for the future (innovation).
For opera lovers, TR Warszawa is performing a theatrical interpretation of Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni, directed by Grzegorz Jarzyna.
The three week festival, from 1st to 23rd June 2010, takes place in 12 locations in Amsterdam, featuring 52 productions with 11 performances. There is enough variety to whet anyone’s appetite: theatre, dance, contemporary music, and more. The pocket-sized 287-page programme booklet can be picked up from any location where there is a performance.
If you have never been to the Holland Festival but are curious, I would advise to go with a friend. Unless you are an opera buff or someone who enjoys going alone to cultural events, I highly recommend that you consider it a social outing. While I happily went to see Carmen alone last summer, I think I would have enjoyed other non-opera and non-musical productions more if I had someone to talk to and discuss what I didn’t understand.
The tickets range from 10 (student and CJP pass holders) to 85 euros. There are also freebies. The Holland Festival will be broadcasting the opening live from Koninklijk Theater Carré. Other free events are the lunch concerts; guided tours and lectures in the Zaha Hadid Architect’s Pavilion; the film Craneway Event; the public masterclass by pianist Kristian Bezuidenhout; the video installation Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco and lectures in Spui25. Visit Holland Festival website to see the preview video and the schedule (English version available).
Le Bon Journal Reviews of Holland Festival:
Doctor Atomic, 2007