It was a cold evening, but as usual, the welcome was warm. So after showing our tickets and obtaining programs, my friends and I quickly found seats. I was especially looking forward to this performance, as the recital would be of works by my favorite poetess.
I nearly skipped from the Jong Barok’s fringe concert, across Utrecht and its market to Tivoli-Vredenburgh. This is the Early Music Festival’s hub for 10 days. The building contains several concert halls in different sizes. During the lunch hour, its largest hall is used for fringe concerts by musicians who have graduated from “just” fringe to the fabulous fringe group.
The opening concert of Utrecht’s 35th Early Music Festival by Gli Angeli was of course beautiful and impressive. By now, nothing less is expected of the festival’s artists in residence. Especially in the first Friday evening concert which kicks off the festival.
Last year’s Festival of Early Music with its theme “England my England” was a great success. Over 64,500 visitors, nearly 100 volunteers and 1000 musicians helped create a lasting memory for all who visited one or more concerts. At the end of the 2015 festival, the 35th festival’s theme was announced: “La Serenissima”!
Everybody is getting ready to celebrate a New Year – bar the few places in the world where this is forbidden. Yes, such places do exist! In some places in the world, celebrating New Year’s Eve this evening, is deemed too Christian – and thus forbidden.
The last literary salon of 2015 did not attract the usual crowd. Three people were moaning about it and commenting on the differences between the cultural scenes of several major cities. I listened to their moans and criticism, while idly sitting in the theatre’s corridor waiting for the doors to open.
Fabulous Fringe concert: the sweet return of Arta Helsinki
The last fringe concerts of the Early Music Festival in Utrecht took place Sunday the 6th of September. Still sniggering after attending the Scroll Ensemble’s interpretation of a Masque, I sauntered back to the ugly Tivoli-Vredenburg building. Like others, I had chosen Arta Helsinki’s fabulous fringe concert to conclude the series of fringe concerts of the 2015 festival.
Fringe concert: Nothing beats the Queen’s Masque and a frying pan
“Huize Molenaar” is another beautiful period home, which has space on its ground floor to host fringe concerts during the Utrecht Early Music Festival. Like “Zuylenspiegel” and similar period locations, there are always limited seats available for the concerts taking place here. So people wanting to hear the second fringe performance of the Scroll Ensemble, had had to collect their free tickets at the special desk in Tivoli-Vredenburg, Sunday morning.
Fringe concert: Jonatan Alvarado, 17th century Spanish guitar music and songs
On the Utrecht Early Music Festival’s last day, one of the first fringe concerts took place inside a historic town castle called “Oudean”. The sprawling building along one of Utrecht’s canals, has a rich history. Now it not only houses a café, restaurant and micro brewery, but also a small cinema. It is in this cinema, that some of the fringe concerts of the Early Music Festival take place.
Fringe concert: Olga Witthauer’s “Retour á Paris”
From Utrecht’s Museum Catharijne Convent it is only a few steps to one of the most enchanting and fabulous gems, used to host fringe concerts: “Zuylenspiegel”. It is a period home with a fabulous and enchanting garden. It is not only used to host fringe concerts during the Early Music Festival. Its owner mentioned concerts are regularly hosted in one of the rooms on its ground floor.