July: hot Portugal … and Europe

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Europe » Portugal
September 2nd 2006
Published: September 2nd 2006
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It was a hot month July … fortunately there were cool moments as well!

Rotterdam was breathing jazz with the North Sea Jazz Festival and all kind of spillover events like the concerts at Dizzy, Floor or Prachtig. I liked very much the Brazilian-jazz concert in Doelen, with the Portuguese singer Magda Mendes. She started in her tiptoes but got more expansive as more people started entering the room. Yet, the absolute jazz related highlight was the 5-dinner-course jazz concert at Eendracht. What can I say? There were really moments of perfection: The complicity of Dana, Johan and Thomas, Pepijn’s menu, the blue notes, her voice, her presence … the Calabria’s glass as preface and that white-chocolate dessert … a ‘desiderio di morte’!

“We cannot resist to a old wine, neither to a new idea” is the motto of ‘Fatias de Ca’,
the Theater’s company of my home-city (at least for 18 years …) Tomar, in Portugal. Even there Holland insisted to be with me, as the play showing was the ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring’ depicting scenes of Vermeer’s life. As many of the Fatias de Ca’ plays, this one took place in our World’s Heritage ‘Convento de Cristo’ ( Convent of Christ) in our castle, originally from the Knights of the Temple.

It was really a fantasy night, after being welcomed with a starter in the old kitchen of the convent, we suddenly find ourselves mixed with the actors and witnessing the first act of the play with Vermeer’s speaking as he rests from biting a piece of bread. From then on we stroll with the actors through the yards, corridors and rooms of the castle, as the scenes move from site to site. The ticket includes dinner in this unique location; the audience is actually invited to the party of Vermeer’s son baptism, which happens during the play!

Back in the Netherlands I was welcomed by the lively Summer Carnival in Rotterdam (Zomer Carnival) but couldn’t resist to go on the same day to a more delicate event: the opening of the Haagse Zomer exhibition at the Pulchri Studio, yes, The Hague, at the Langue Voorhout. It is also in this street that one can find the open-air, public exhibition of the Columbian artist, Fernando Botero, embedded in the The Hague’s Sculptuur 2006 event Just go for a leisure walk there! You will find robust women, a swan, a cat, a horse, and a few more surprises … ;-)

COMING SOON (in R’dam): the Dance Parade (Aug. 12th), the ‘Monaco aan de Maas’(yes, it’s a Formula 1 race! Aug. 20th), and in the other end of the spectrum we have Classic Music at Veerhaven or Nabucco’s opera in the main square in Delft. In-between we have the day of the Romantic Music in the park and cinema at the Lloydkwartier. Open-air is the word!

So, let’s go outside!
P.S. 1) Another happy event was the wedding of Cristina & Terry … best wishes for the lovely couple!
2) Pull out your agendas: June 30 to July 9, 2007 in Tomar, Portugal: ‘Festa dos Tabuleiros,’ a party-celebration happening every few years and which has been running since high Middle Ages …unique tradition and colourful weirdness!


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