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Free performances

Blogger Renato Proper writes about the free perfomances during the festival in 2011.

"Secretly I seem to follow the same creed as the mother of writer Ernest van der Kwast: 'free is best'. Sometimes this is useful, but there are also moments that it makes you feel like a real miser. Or someone who's on the breadline. But in the case of Operadagen Rotterdam, free is indeed the best."

Free is indeed the best
Secretly I seem to follow the same creed as the mother of writer Ernest van der Kwast: 'free is best'. Sometimes this is useful, but there are also moments that it makes you feel like a real miser. Or someone who's on the breadline. But in the case of Operadagen Rotterdam, free is indeed the best. What I mean is that thanks to their free performances you can come into contact with things that you would normally never encounter — like opera! You can steal the show at a party when you say something like 'I went to an opera recently, and ...' People look at you pleasantly surprised. You get points for your interest in culture. People bring you glasses of red wine instead of beer. Everyone listens to what you have to say.

Your friends can't believe their ears
Then you tell them that you went to the sing-along on the Koeweide in Kralingen-Crooswijk. On a folding stool in the sun, right next to professional singers and with the Smartlap Opera Krant in your hands. You sang with the chorus for the whole afternoon. People look at you in astonishment. Their mouths fall open. Your friends can't believe their ears.

A personal invitation
You continue. You just happened to be crossing the Deliplein. You saw two people sitting on a bench and before you knew it you were in the middle of the opera 'A Street Scene'. You quietly decided to keep on going and pretend that you were part of it. Your friends can't believe it. You, an extra in an opera? Some of them laugh, but others want to hear more about your operatic excursions. So what do you do? You reach into your jacket pocket and take out your personal invitation to an Opera at Home concert. The invitation is from your uncle's second wife who has a huge garden that she used for a concert. She wrote on the invitation that the girl who used to live next door to you was coming too — now there's a heavy hint. Then you say that you ran into the girl herself by the food table. 'But that's another story', you say and disappear towards the kitchen amidst catcalls. From the kitchen you call back that these are only a few of the things that happened to you at the free performances — there are lots more! Free is best, as you've just proved.

image of Renato  Proper

by: Renato Proper

Renato Proper (1986) started with blogging in 2010 about De Internationale Keuze. He's a blogger ever since for festivals like Geen Daden Maar Woorden, Rotterdamse Orgeldagen and Operadagen Rotterdam.

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