All I want for Christmas is Rieu

Rieu's Christmas special in cinemas December 23

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ARE RIEU A FAN?: Andre Rieu will welcome some special guests for his Christmas concert, which will be in cinemas on December 23.

ARE RIEU A FAN?: Andre Rieu will welcome some special guests for his Christmas concert, which will be in cinemas on December 23.

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The King of the Waltz, Andre Rieu, has a Christmas treat in store for his fans.

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The King of the Waltz, Andre Rieu, has a Christmas treat in store for his legions of fans around the world.

Cinema audiences will be able to join him at his newly created Winter Palace in his hometown of Maastricht for Christmas with Andre, a concert experience featuring a cast of hundreds, including his much-loved Johann Strauss Orchestra alongside the magnificent Maastricht Dance & Ice Skate Company. And for good measure, add 150 dazzling chandeliers and 50 Venetian candelabras!

Expect traditional carols, romantic waltzes and Christmas classics including Jingle Bells, O Holy Night and Hallelujah, as well as a show-stopping performance of Walking in the Air.

Andre will perform under snowfall and magnificent Christmas lights, joined by his orchestra, dancers, guest sopranos Donij van Doorn and Anna Majchrzak, the Platin Tenors and The Golden Voices of Gospel.

So what does a Rieu Christmas look like?

"The main celebration in the Netherlands happens on the 5th of December - it's the most important day for most children in The Netherlands, because Sinterklaas (St Nicklas) brings them their presents," Andre said. "He travels with the 'Peters' and when Sinterklaas and the Peters come ashore, all the local church bells ring in celebration. Sinterklaas is dressed in red robes and leads a procession through the town, riding a white horse. Every town has a few Sinterklaas helpers, dressed the same as Sinterklaas who help give presents out.

"Don't confuse Sinterklaas with Santa Claus, who comes on Christmas Eve, from Lapland. And in the morning on the 25th of course everyone is up very early, and the grandchildren are curious to see what Santa brought them for Christmas - more presents!"

When it comes to Christmas lunch, Andre takes a back seat.

"Our sons cook the Christmas lunch," he said. "When they were still very young, Marjorie and I gave them a cookbook.

"The first meal they did was water with tomatoes. Of course, we LOVED it! Since then, it has become a tradition that Marc and Pierre cook. This year's menu will be a surprise; we don't know it yet."

And the most memorable Christmas gift he has ever received?

"I met my wife Marjorie for the first-time during Christmas at my sister's Sinterklaas party. She was in the same class as Marjorie.

"Marjorie was 15 and I was 13. This was the most memorable and beautiful gift I ever received."

Andre's one wish for Christmas is love, health and happiness for everyone.

Christmas with Andre is exclusively in cinemas.

Event Cinemas around Australia will hold special Christmas with Andre family screenings on December 23 at 6pm. Tickets at the cinema box office or click HERE

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