Streisand: 2007 Europe Concert Tour
30 June 2007
- Funny Girl (Broadway) Overture - Bill Ross, Conductor
- Starting Here, Starting Now
- Down With Love
- The Way We Were
- Ma Premiere Chanson
- Evergreen (with Broadway Singers)
Broadway Singers set:
- Something's Coming
- You'll Never Walk Alone
- I Finally Found Someone (Barbra returned on stage in the middle of this song and sang the last part with them.)
- Come Rain or Come Shine
Funny Girl Suite:
- Funny Girl
- The Music That Makes Me Dance (partial)
- My Man
- Bill Ross Entr'acte
- Music of the Night (Barbra & The Broadway Singers)
- Papa, Can You Hear Me?
- Unusual Way
- What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
- Ask Barbra (incl. Happy Birthday sung by Barbra)
- Four Horseman of the Apocalypse (instrumental for Barbra)
- You Don’t Bring Me Flowers
- (Have I Stayed) Too Long At The Fair?
- William Saroyan: The Time Of Your Life
- A Cockeyed Optimist
- Somewhere (with Broadway singers)
- My Shining Hour
- Don't Rain on My Parade
- The Summer Knows
Streisand warms to Germany with Berlin concert
By Erik Kirschbaum
BERLIN (Reuters) - Barbra Streisand told a sell-out Berlin concert crowd on Saturday that she was delighted to perform in Germany for the first time after turning down several invitations in the past.
German media have linked the Jewish star's refusal to sing there previously to Germany's responsibility for the Holocaust and had hailed her decision to appear.
Streisand quickly warmed to the enthusiastic audience of 18,000 that gave her more than a dozen standing ovations.
"I'm so very happy to be in your country," Streisand said, speaking in flawless German, after the crowd warmed themselves up and brought her orchestra to their feet with a series of pre-concert stadium waves.
"It's exciting for me to be here, too," Streisand added before listing some of the things she likes about Germany -- from currywurst to apple strudel and Beethoven to Bach. She recited a Goethe poem, which she said was a lifelong favorite.
"Germany has always been a place where you buy a lot of my records. I feel very good here. I'm always amazed how music can transcend all our differences. Even though I may complain about certain things, I've come to look at the glass as half full."
Streisand, one of the best-selling female artists of all time, is on a six-week, eight-city tour through Europe.
"I'm really glad to be in your city — it's filled with culture...and the deserts I love," Streisand said in the open-air Waldbuehne arena, next to Berlin's Olympic stadium used for the 1936 Olympics and tarnished by its association with the Nazis.
Paul Spiegel, late leader of Germany's Jewish community, said he had made repeated appeals to her to come, and, before dying last year, Spiegel blamed her refusal on the Holocaust.
"Barbra Streisand was the only one," Spiegel said, when asked if artists had reservations about Germany. Spiegel, a top German talent agent, said he could understand her stance.
The 65-year-old singer did not want to comment on her reasons for not coming to Germany in her career before. But in a statement to Reuters on Friday she had said: "Germany is a very different place than it was before World War Two."
Born in New York to Jewish American parents in 1942, according to online biographies, Streisand has never played outside North America except for London and Australia.
"Thank you for coming to Berlin!" shouted one fan at one point late in her 2-1/2 hour long show.
"It's my pleasure — I'm thrilled to be here," she replied.
And the dream keeps going on....
When I heard about Barbra's touring in Europe, I was starting thinking of which would be the best place to see Barbra on stage. After much thought I ended up - not totally certain -with Berlin. I though of Germans not being so extrovert with their reactions but I was utterly wrong. Germans went crazy and I was lucky to be in that party!!! And it wasn't only me to be surprised by the crowd's reaction, you could see Barbra's eyes expressing a strange feeling, like she hadn't been in front of a crowd again!
Coming up on the stage she looked confident and relaxed. She did what she knew better: sing and make people travel with her. Watching her during the first song I couldn't realise what was going on, seeing Barbra for the first time....it was like a nirvana! When I came to real world, I did nothing else than shouting with all the strength of my voice " Barbra, I love you!".Don't make me tell you my reaction about her answer...! I was like in heaven! Yes, Barbra! You were more than we had expected. Vocally more mature and more expressive than ever (no matter any small weakness at some parts), a great confidence and an immediate communication with the 18,000 people, that were the luckiest people in the world that night! I was looking at her and I couldn't find out what was on her so majestic that night.... an inner beauty that reflected all over the place!!!
As for songs I was anxious to listen to "Have I stayed to long at the fair" and I really loved it but every single song awoke deep feelings inside of me and I don't really distinguish any particular. It was like listenining to them for the first time!
Barbra, thank you for that wonderfull and unforgetable night!!! My voice is still in bad shape after so much shouting but it did worth it since Barbra replied to me several times.Lucky me!! I still have that theater in my mind, the clouds moving fast in the colourful sky, the smell of the wet earth and the forest and Barbra singing: Memories......
Please let this dream never end!
Yorgos, Athens Greece
I enjoyed the show immensely, after all I never in my wildest dreams thought that Barbra would come to my hometown, Berlin, to give a concert. So that made it really special. Moreover, many family members and friends of mine were also in the audience which made the experience even more exceptional and gave us all the possibility to talk about it afterwards.
To me, Barbra seemed to have some minor voice problems, maybe some effects from the bad weather in Vienna... BUT: I didn't care at all because it was such a great show. One could feel that she really enjoyed herself immensely. The Berlin audience gave her a warmer welcome than anywhere else, longer and louder standing ovations all through the concert and it was funny to watch her repeated eye contact with Bill Ross during these long periods of applause where she was sort of asking him with her eyes what to do and he was just grinning and seemed to be telling her to just enjoy it and wait a little longer before continuing with the program.
And then, during the second act, we were treated to a couple of "specials": During the "Ask Barbra" part she first took out a card asking her to sing "Happy Birthday" to some audience member. She did it after warning us of the, as she put it, poor quality of her singing that song. The she took out another card and started giggling before reading it and saying that it's from her manager, Marty Erlichman. It said that the whole concert crew was wishing her and Jim a very happy anniversary. Then Bill Ross took the microphone and expressed congratulations and thanks from the whole crew and afterwards conducted a special surprise for her: The music from "Four Horsemen of the Apocalyse", her favourite song which was also played at her wedding. She was truly surprised and delighted with this "gift", made a couple of comments on the song and even hummed a couple of bars of it.
And as if all that hadn't already been enough, Jim came on stage after Barbra had finished singing "Smile" and presented her with a tray with huge pudding or jell-o on it — I could quite define what it was — and also wished her a happy anniversary, kissing her right on stage.
Barbra then said good night as usual but the audience did not stop clapping and cheering and we actually made her come back! So, after a short consultation with Bill Ross she then sang "The Summer Knows" as her third and final encore. PURE MAGIC.
On a final note, I must say that I liked the Broadway guys much better than Il Divo, the have good voices and they seem to understand what they are singing, are very lively on stage and are definitely just acting like some robots. Of course, I would prefer to see and hear Barbra alone, all the time but this way it's nice and enjoyable.
I could write much more, but I guess this was the essence of what made the Berlin show special.
Barbra's Berlin Concert ! It was a special evening because:
1. The fantastic relax, warm, intimate presence of Barbra!
2. The wonderful open air location, in the middle of a wood, during fine weather and the sunset.
3. And last, but not least, the unusual enthusiastic moods of the audience.
This concert was a personal triumph for Barbra. Even her voice was not always in perfect or “best” condition, she was beloved by the people from her first till the last note. Barbra gets nearly after each song such a stunning , standing ovation, that she told the people: "You make me feel like home,...NO, BETTER THAN AT HOME !" or: "PLEASE, YOU DON'T HAVE TO STAND. PLEASE TAKE A SEAT!!
It doesn't matter, that a Barbra Streisand Concert is from the beginning to the end a perfect production without a surprise, - because she makes each moment, each song like a moment of truth... Over the years her personality changed to an authentic and enigmatic-magical person. Her radiation is a miracle, because she is just so simply ( and true) with her performance. What is her secret, that she takes the whole audience by storm?
Between each song she talks relaxed, funny and with a little bit self-ironical to the people like a mixture of a divine diva and the girl from the next door.
Only for very few and short moments, there is the old, powerful Streisandvoice, the older fans are waiting therefore. But a new, fragile, soft and very beauty quality of voice is now beloved by the people deeply. It seems, Barbra doesn’t needs the loud “ belt out” notes, for impressing the audience !
And so it is: Into the still between the songs, you could hear a man-voice : “Barbra I love you”! And the big videoscreen shows her smile, during she answers: “ Thank you… I can feel it !”
My opinion about her singing compared with the Vienna Concert: “Papa” and “Flowers” were better in Vienna. “Have I Stayed To Long At The Fair” was in Berlin better, just a gem, so beautiful and totally flawless. The same I could say for “Funny Girl” , The Way We Were, “Somewhere” and “Don’t Rain on My parade”. Great performances. “Unusual Way” starts perfectly, but in the middle, during the high dramatic notes you could listen some hoarse and strained notes.
However, a fantastic song, performed by Barbra with great credibility ! Strong “songs – arias” with high notes and not even easy to sing, like “People” and “My Man” were also great performed, but had also some hoarse and strained notes. The most of the reviews wrote about this fact very kindly.
When finally Barbra starts to sang: “My Shining Hour, so heavenly and beauty, anybody could feel, this was really a “shining hour” for Barbra Streisand. ( And the people too!)
At the end, the aplause was monstrous! When Barbra left the stage after a moving “Smile”, I thought the applause would never end….
So she came after a while back to stage, talks a little bit with her musical director and then she sung at these unforgettable summer-evening: “The summer knows”.
At the end of my short report some headlines of the newspapers about the Berlin Concert:
- “A real great Diva! Barbra Streisand enchant the “Waldbuhne” with her authenticity and honesty”
- How We Were, What We Are !!! Nearly a family meeting. Barbra Streisand’s first Germany- Performance in Berlin is a triumph.
- One Woman, One Voice. Big feelings, classic broadway.
- Wunderbar, wunderbar !!!
- La Ola for the Diva!
- Berlin celebrates Barbra Streisand! Jubilation-storms for the Superstar
- The fans celebrate Barbra!
- The Diva sings, wins and eats shaky-wackelpudding
- Ode for the Unique
(Above: Polish fans on their way back from the show in Berlin. In the photo you can see [Left to Right]: Leszek, Adam, Kasia, Ania, and Irek.)
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