Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Bluegrass at the Staatstheater

From a report by Karl Heinz Siber of Muff Musik to the IBMA-L list:

Well, the fateful day arrived on May 6 when the Claire Lynch Band had the privilege of being the first bluegrass band ever to perform in the 650-seat Oldenburgische Staatstheater in Oldenburg, Germany, a town of about 130,000. The band seemed pretty overwhelmed when they first stepped onto the stage in the afternoon and saw the magnificent interiors of this opera-house type of venue with its giant chandelier at the ceiling and the three or four levels of galleries and loges rounding out the oval-shaped room.

Almost 400 tickets had been sold for the concert, surpassing even the boldest expectations and enough to fill almost all seats on the parquet floor. The Claire Lynch Band rose to the occasion and delivered a great performance of their intricate and sophisticated music. The audience seemed a bit reserved at first (somehow befitting the venerable location) but, after a few songs, warmed up and even gave applause for solos in the middle of songs, something which could not be taken for granted in a venue with this classical aura. Some songs even received roaring ovations, and at the end the band was called back on stage for three encores.

The Generalintendant (director) of the Staatstheater, Markus Müller, personally witnessed the concert and declared afterwards that there will be a sequel to this in 2008, and that this might well turn into a series of annual bluegrass concerts at the Staatstheater.

Needless to say that all of us who were involved in this enterprise are proud and happy that this could be accomplished. Our thanks go out to the Claire Lynch Band for functioning as such great and impressive ambassadors for bluegrass music, paving the way for others to follow.