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Monday, November 30 at 8 p.m. – Andre Rieu Live in Dresden: Wedding at the Opera

(Rochester, NY) –How many couples have the good fortune to celebrate their nuptials at a grand opera house — with André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra and Choir as the wedding band? At least one couple has that grand experience, as a multitude of wedding “guests” watches from home. Andre Rieu Live in Dresden: Wedding at the Opera, airing Monday, November 30 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable1011/cable11), captures the marital festivities and concert held in Dresden’s Semper Opera.

The performance-plus-wedding reception takes place in one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world, the grandiose Semper. The bride and groom are part of the “Vienna Debutantes,” dancers from the Elmayer Dance School in Vienna, a group that also joinc the wedding party. Guest artists include sopranos Mirusia Louwerse and Carmen Monarcha; the Platinum Tenors; and baritone Morschi Franz, who perform with the Johann Strauss Orchestra and Choir under the direction of Rieu. Those in the Semper audience are beyond enthusiastic — they’re elated, carried along by the sublime waltzes, the fiery paso doble, the gorgeous arias from operas and operettas, humorous scenes and moving songs. By the end, they’re dancing along with the bride and groom and the Vienna Debutantes.

Among the treasures in Andre Rieu Live in Dresden: Wedding at the Opera are Strauss selections, of course, including “The Beautiful Blue Danube,” “Radetzky March” and “Du und Du” (“You and You Waltz”). To be expected at a marriage celebration, Mendelssohn’s famous “Wedding March” greets the newlyweds. A paean to love, “Plaisir d’amour” (“The Pleasure of Love”), is sung by Mirusia Louwerse and Carmen Monarcha.

The Platinum Tenors present one of the most famous arias in the opera canon, “E lucevan le stelle” (“And the stars were shining”), from Puccini’s Tosca. Louwerse and Morschi Franz perform the poignant “All I Ask of You” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster The Phantom of the Opera — an appropriate choice for a venue such as the Semper.

Rieu said he loved performing at Dresden’s Semper, “that fabulous Baroque concert hall with the gorgeous gold decorations and that enormous chandelier,” but equally important is the intimacy of the space. “I could practically touch the first row with my bow. ... We would love to return here to this fabulous temple of music ... to feel people’s hearts beating again. I feel sure they beat in three-four time!”

Pictured: Rieu and dancers from Elmayer Dance School in Vienna.

Credit: G. Ramaekers

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