'King of Waltz' André Rieu on bringing his new Christmas with André show to cinemas in Ireland

Not only is André Rieu one of the world's biggest classical artists selling over 40 million records and 700,000 concert tickets every year, he has also fully embraced the cinematic concert experience.We quizzed him about Christmas with André, coming soon to a cinema near you...

André Rieu during his 2019 Christmas concert in Maastricht. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn.
André Rieu during his 2019 Christmas concert in Maastricht. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn. André Rieu during his 2019 Christmas concert in Maastricht. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn.

ANDRÉ Rieu may not be back on tour just yet, but the Dutch 'King Of Waltz' is once again inviting Irish fans to enjoy a specially recorded live extravaganza in cinemas this December - this time from his newly created 'Winter Palace' in his hometown of Maastricht.

Christmas With André promises a cast of hundreds, including his much-loved Johann Strauss Orchestra alongside the magnificent Maastricht Dance and Ice Skate Company.

Fans can expect traditional carols, romantic waltzes and Christmas classics including Jingle Bells, O Holy Night and Hallelujah, alongside a centrepiece performance of Walking In The Air.

:: What makes Christmas special for you, André?

Christmas is by far my most favourite time of the year. At the end of December, I spend my time with my small family: my wife, our sons with their wives and our five gorgeous grandchildren. There is another tradition: I take home a Christmas decoration for our Christmas tree every year, and I give it to my wife Marjorie, who collects these. So, we have a very international tree. Last but not least, I started a new tradition in my hometown of Maastricht in 2019: Christmas concerts. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to organise them last year because of the Covid pandemic, but I have good hope for this year.

:: What can audiences expect from this special Christmas with André concert?

People from all over the world are invited to come to the cinema and watch my newest Christmas special: there is so much to see, to hear and to enjoy. Before you know it, the cinema is turned into a winter wonderland: chandeliers, snow, everything you need for a delicious Yule Time in front of a gigantic screen. You'll have a once in a lifetime experience - there is a backstage tour, I'll tell you things you've never heard before. My beloved Johann Strauss Orchestra can be seen, but also the lovely sopranos Anna Majchrzak and Donij van Doorn, the fantastic Platin Tenors, the Golden Voices of Gospel, the Maastricht Dance and Ice Skate Company. Too much to mention.

André Rieu. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn
André Rieu. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn André Rieu. Picture by Marcel van Hoorn

:: There are so many Christmas songs to choose from, but which is your favourite - and why?

Yes, there are so many outstanding Christmas songs, that I simply can't choose just one. Just to mention a few: Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas, Oh Holy Night, Walking In The Air and Jingle Bells, because it is so happy. Alright, there is one song which incorporates all feelings together: Jerusalem, The Holy City. There is joy, hope, togetherness.

:: Are you doing anything special for Christmas this year other than your Christmas concert?

Being at home and enjoy spending time with my wife, children and grandchildren: hopefully there will be snow, so we can make a nice walk all together on the St Pieter's Mountain next to my house. In the evening, there will be gifts and maybe a wonderful movie like The Sound Of Music or Mary Poppins.

:: Can you tell us what are you hoping to get from Santa this year?

First and foremost, Christmas is meant to be a feast for the little ones... but, okay, when you ask me: I hope to receive green light for all my concerts in 2022. I can't wait to perform again for all my beloved fans, they've been waiting - just like me - far too long for our concerts. In case this 'gift' is too much to be asking for, I'm also happy with a nice novel or Christmas presents made by my grandchildren.

:: Finally, André, do you have a message for your fans in Ireland?

Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and nothing could be better than spending it with my friends, family and Irish fans in my hometown. I want to invite cinema audiences in Ireland to join me on this beautiful journey to my Christmas wonderland.

:: André Rieu's Christmas With André is in cinemas on December 4 and 5. Select 'encore performances' will also take place in cinemas later in December. See andreincinemas.com for locations, showtimes and tickets.