Opera Scouts for the German Opera on the Rhine!

I have been chosen to become an Opera Scout!

What's this?
Last year the Opera on the Rhine introduced their first opera scouts - characters about town who are known to an audience not immediately associated with the opera. People from various areas of Düsseldorf city life - such as the master baker in the fourth generation and former Carnival Prinz Josef Hinkel; Christiane Oxenfort, director of the wonderful performing arts festival Altstadtherbst, Heike Billardt, press officer of Zakk, the multi-cultural arts centre so many of us enjoy concerts at; Patricia Gall, sales manager of Düsseldorf's top hotel Breidenbacher HofThere are also fashion designers and advertising executives; students and actors; museum directors and gallery owners.

15 in all. They visited the premieres and followed up with an casual exchange about the performance, gave press interviews and wrote their personal impressions for the Opera House website. The project, the first of its kind in Germany, was a great success, bringing in numerous new visitors to the House. So much so that the 15 are now to be 20 and I have asked to be one of them!

This year most of the scouts are remaining, the students are being replaced by new students and there are one or two other additions. So then doubly pleasing for RhineBuzz - when Tanja Brill, press officer for the Rhine Opera, met me to discuss my new involvement in this project she asked if I would maybe know of a young person who could join us. I'd recently met Caroline Hobbs, a young, Australian cello player studying for her masters at the Robert Schumann Music School. Looking for new people to meet and things to do, she had found us on the web and joined us for one of the Ballet on the Rhine performances. Caroline was very happy to meet some of the RhineBuzz community and was keen to be take part in more RhineBuzz events.
I suggested Caroline to Tanja. I asked Caroline to write about her recent experience at the Ballet without explaining what it was for, and I asked for this by the end of the week!

Caroline came up trumps, wrote a great piece, sent it in on time(!) and Tanja liked it very much.
So here we now are! Caroline Hobbs cannot believe her luck, she is incredibly excited about this and I am thrilled to have helped this warm young woman find a link to to the opera house, the city and people she might otherwise not have had contact too. I'm sure her reviews will enrich the Opera Scout project enormously and hopefully encourage more young people to come and join us in this wonderful house.

Caroline and I will be writing in English so that you can all discover what is happening at the Opera House. The scouts got together at the Opera House on October 18th for the first time. They met Christoph Meyer, artistic director of the Opera on the Rhine and Martin Schläpfer, the award-winning artistic director of the Ballet on the Rhine and spent the evening meeting one another and then observing a part of the dress rehearsal for the scouts' first premiere of the season this evening. I couldn't be there myself on Monday, so I look forward to bringing you Caroline's first impressions all the more.

Thank you Tanja Brill and all at the Opera on the Rhine. I'm always greeted by warm, smiling faces when I pop in to the offices. It's been a great partnership for RhineBuzz this past 15 months, the House is pleased with the new people we have brought in and the RhineBuzzers have experienced some wonderful performances. Becoming an opera scout is an added treat I am thrilled to accept, I love opening the doors of this wonderful house to those who might not have visited had they not heard about the opportunity with us. This can be due to so many reasons - some don't wish to go alone, others have never been to the opera or ballet before or maybe they simply missed the German information and didn't know that the Opera House was there.

My personal thanks also to dear friends Leandros Taliotis and Kurt Helbig, both I met in December 2008 and who, since then, have given me insights to the workings of an opera house and those that work there, which I just knew so very little about before.

Our first premiere as scouts is tonight - we will see Dialogues des Carmélites. Caroline and I are so looking forward to our new roles!
You will be able to read about it here and on the Opera House website very soon.

Now on the Opera House site to download, the Opera Scout reviews are the first piece on this page.

Little Spooks in the Hofgarten

Every year for Halloween there's a lovely gathering of little ghosts, witches and vampires when the Theater Museum puts on its Ghost Parade for children aged 4+.
Take your little ones in their Halloween costumes along to the Hofgarten on Sunday evening, everyone meets outside the Theatre Museum at 6pm for Halloween adventures and a trail through the park. At the end there are creepy surprises.

Take a lantern and join the spooky parade!

Theatre Museum Düsseldorf
Jägerhofstrasse 1
40479 Düsseldorf

Living Colours with Hermann-Josef Kuhna and Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk

Susanne Kamps Studio

Those that know me, know that I adore colour.
So what a wonderful day yesterday was!
At Susanne Kamps' opening at Bürgermeister Conzen’s office in the Town Hall I met, amongst others, Professor Herman-Josef Kuhna. Susanne’s mentor and colourful creator of the great wall painting at the ‘Spanish Steps’ linking Burgplatz to the Rhine Promenade in the city.
Hermann-Josef Kuhna at work on
the Spanish Steps 1997
Photograph ©Bernd Jansen
The talk he gave opening Susanne’s colorful and beautiful show in the private offices of the Bürgermeister Conzen spoke to me in every sense of the word.
Herr Kuhne spoke of how today it seemed the that artists feel obliged to share their pain and sadness with us all. How creating something of beauty with a feel-good factor was almost tabu. 
Susanne had the courage to break against this trend and show us something that would make us feel good, something that celebrates the wonderful things in life through her own very own perspective.
I went over and told him how wonderful I felt his speech was and asked if he would come and speak in English to you all. He was more than happy to do so, invited me to his studio and loved the whole RhineBuzz idea, immediately telling Bürgermiester Conzen about it and enthusiastically introducing me.
So in November we will visit Susanne’s studio and Professor Kuhna will come and speak.
Date to be fixed, then I’ll let you all know!

Khayli mamnoon, Ευχαριστώ, Grazie ...

In the evening RhineBuzz hosted the first tour in English of the Glass Museum in museum knust palast. I was delighted to see so many new faces from Iran, Bulgaria, Canada, Greece, Mexico and so on. What a fantastic group!

Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk, head of the museum and one of the world’s glass specialists, gave the tour. An hour was planned but after 90 minutes all were surprised that so much time had gone by - he could have told us so much more and all were keen to hear more.

The history and beauty of the museum is so rich, most were simply astounded at how much there was to learn.

Many, many thanks to mkp and especially Dedo von Krosigk for the marvelous tour which gave us such a lot. We learnt about the recipe for glass; the historical position of glass; the manufacturing methods; the crafsmanship. Just Amazing.

Susanne Kamps at the Town Hall

Susanne Kamps 25 Degrés en Hiver

Susanne Kamps' paintings are gorgeous.
Thick with vibrant colours you can almost taste, feel and smell, with the idea that the sun is nearly always shining, her images evoke memories of holidays - not travel, but relaxing in a bar by the water and watching the world go by. Reminiscent of scenes from a riviera - boats, flowers, fruit, cakes, retro interiors and fashion accessories, shops filled with earrings and hats. There's always a 'feel-good' moment. Indeed the artist spends much of her time in the South of France and more recently on Croatian islands.
I met Susanne at Kunstpunkte years ago and again this year. Immediately I was relieved and happy to find something that made me smile after numerous dark and quite frankly grim works that filled the studios we had visited that day. I mentioned this frustration to Hanns Heidenheim, a gentleman of 80 plus whose home and studio was crammed with fascinating paintings of dancers, cities and the travels of his amazing life. His were the first works I had liked all day.
Go and see Susanne, he told me, she'll make you smile. And indeed she did.
Now some 3 years later Susanne's paintings have been chosen by Bürgermeister Conzen to be shown in his office in the Town Hall. I am delighted for her and will certainly be at the opening on Thursday 8th October, which is open to the public. We are unsure if and how the public will be able to view these marvellous works, but I'll find out on Thursday and then let you know.
Alternatively we could visit Susanne's studio in Glozheim at a later date. It is a boudoir of succulent colour and wonderful scenes.
If you would like to visit Susanne's studio let us know and we will fix a date for a group visit.
Susanne Kamps Opening 
Thursday, 7 October 2010 at 12.30pm
in the office of Bürgermeister Conzen
Rathaus, Marktplatz 2
 40213 Düsseldorf

La Bohème

RhineBuzz tickets sold out!
The Opera on the Rhine opens the new season with Puccini's classic, La Bohème, this Friday September 24th. The house is virtually sold out and the following dates are pretty booked too so it's especially great that RhineBuzz have been allocated a limited number of discounted seats for the performance on October 16th. Following a great partnership last season we can now offer the RhineBuzz community seats in both the stalls and third tier - so that everyone, no matter what your budget, can come and enjoy the opera with us!
email opera@rhinebuzz.com for details.

At the recent press conference for La Bohème it was charming to meet the very passionate Nataliya Kovalova who told us of her joy at playing a strong, authentic Mimi in this splendid production by Robert Carson
The story of Puccini's Bohemian characters transcends all times and nations - it's a tale of passion and feisty dreams and striving for something other than what seems to be your given destiny.

If you cannot join us at this event all other La Bohème dates are here.

Düsseldorf Opera House 
RhineBuzz at the Opera October 16th 7.30pm

Free Tour Hentrich Glass Museum at mkp

October 7th 7.30pm 
reservations necessary
tour now full - we will repeat this in the New Year

The Hentrich Glass Museum housed within the museum kunst palast is one of the largest glass collections in Europe, including a section of medieval glass which I’m told is one of the most important in the world.
Many are unaware that this treasure is there in the Ehrenhof, but many of you have been surprised to discover it now on our way to the studio at mkp for our fabulous art sessions.

On Thursday October 7th at 7.30pm we are very pleased to be offering you the first RhineBuzz tour in English of this magnificent collection.
Dedo von Kerssenbrock-Krosigk, world specialist on glass, head of the Hentrich Glass Museum and former curator of European glass at the great Corning Museum of Glass in New York, will guide us expertly though the museum. He will share his vast historical and technological knowledge with us in a very easy going manner.

The tour is generously sponsored by museum kunst palast especially for the RhineBuzz community so make the most of this rare chance to experience this magnificent collection up close.
Entry to the collection is €6, if we are 10 or more it will be reduced to €4.50. Places are limited, so please reserve with us at mkp@rhinebuzz.com

There is a very beautiful exhibition of Glass by Lalique and Schneider currently at the exhibition hall of the Tonhalle. It's free and well worth a look.

Schneider France ca. 1927-29

Many of the exhibits originate from the vast collection in storage at the museum kunst palast. I was most fortunate in that Dedo von Krosigk took the time to show me around the space last week. Quite Incredible.

Many Thanks!

A RhineBuzz Sunday at Kwadrat

Many thanks to Caroline Hobbs and Sarah Spence for their arousing cello recital yesterday at Café Kwadrat. It was such a gorgeous day on Sunday and it wouldn't have been surprising if far fewer had turned up, but the café was full and it was a lovely late afternoon/evening event, with our guests asking for more in the future.
It's always to meet you face to face and we enjoyed seeing new faces and hearing feedback about what we do.
Thank you also to Cathy Dobson for her stories from Planet Germany. Cathy was asked to give another two readings yesterday, 
so do get involved with RhineBuzz, we can put you on contact with all sorts of people.

Caroline Hobbs and Sarah Spence

Cathy Dobson 

The owner of the café, Andreas, was also very happy to meet the RhineBuzz community. We are now talking a bout a Christmas event there - so if you'd like to contribute, please get in touch.
Maybe we can also conjure up some mince pies!

Vielen Dank also to ISR for their kind support.