Travel to a country at war XIX

Sunday, 16-04-2023.


Full train from Amersfoort.

Marathon in Rotterdam.

Blocked streets.

Filming in New Luxor.

Weird feeling because of last Carmina Burana show of this tour.


Twice catering on the day.

Afternoon, scene recording on stage.

Tim has been hired to massage dancers.


Hall is sold out. 1200+ visitors. Exceptional.

Het realiseren van dit gewaagde project was een enorm avontuur en een gigantisch risico.

In this last performance, even more spectacular playing, dancing and singing is done.


Another wave of emotion through the hall, one of the largest in the Netherlands.

My excellent assistant Julia Mitomi is dressed in blue and yellow for this breathtaking finale.

Ending in endless applause.

The Ukrainian anthem makes tears roll again.

"Stop the invasion of Ukraine" was projected on the back cover.

After the performance photos with the Ukrainian ambassador and cultural attachée,

Many guests who raise glasses of red wine with us in the artist foyer. In celebration of the unexpected success of this tour.


Emotional farewell to the dancers who have to quickly get back on the bus to be able to reach the Polish-Ukrainian border within 19 hours. Where they will be interrogated and checked again with the chance to join the army. On the way, a folded tire must be changed.


This has become a political tour. Ukrainians have passionately sung, danced and played on stage for their right to exist.

What brave people!


Some of the many reactions per Whatsapp after the performance:


"It was very impressive and beautiful tonight! Can we thank the director? We were in row 10 and could see it well. Now, afterwards, I feel just like after the Matthew Passion, so full of emotion. And then at the end the Ukrainian national anthem. What a strength and determination not to let yourself get small. Thank you so much, you too! 💖 " Mother of theatre programmer de Flint.


"Dear Gerard, I am so proud of you! You've outdone yourself! What a beautiful performance, great choreography, original stage image and exciting effects! I was very impressed, as was everyone else. How wonderful that San Fu filmed it! A crown on your work! We're going to be there."


"We are still enjoying the beautiful performance. Chapeau!!! Thank you again for your invitation. Respect! 💕"


Until Wednesday, the National Opera of Ukraine, Odessa, will play three Puccini operas:

17-04-2023 Amare The Hague: Madama Butterfly.

18-04-2023 Toon Hermans Theater Sittard: Madama Butterfly.

19-04-2023 Parkstad Limburg Theaters Heerlen: La Bohème.

To be continued.