The Donna Summer Tribute Site

Art On Ice 

Switzerland February 2011

 

Hallenstadium, Zurich, 5 February 2011, 20.00 pm

A magical, mystical Swiss evening! As I entered the Hallenstadium and went to find my seat. I was pleasantly surprised to discover I had a great seat all the way in front, right next to the orchestra, which was the closest you could be to the music stage, as this was situated in the middle of the huge hall, in front of an Olympic size skating ring where the ice skaters performed. I had no idea how the programme was set up, so after each skating performance accompanied by other musical artists, I held my breath, thinking: will she be on now? But my patience was tested as I had to wait until after the break. 

Then, two or three performances after the break, the two presenters suddenly announced Donna! My heart skipped five or six beats, but luckily I did not drop dead. So I jumped out of my seat and never sat back down until the show ended (noticing all around me that the audience kept to their seat). Donna looked radiant in a breathtaking dress and marvelous, diva-licious shoes, as you may have already seen in the photos of the event circulating on the net. She started with MacArthur Park, greeted the audience in German, then went into She Works Hard For The Money and, to my surprise and delight, I Feel Love! Then she introduced one of the other artists of the event, Swiss (?) pop star Coco Gfeller, to sing No More Tears with her. By then I had figured that the rest of the evening Donna would not leave the stage! But I thought she would probably do On The Radio, the Bad Girls/Hot Stuff medley and end with Last Dance. However, much to my delight a piano was brought onto the stage and she introduced Smile, telling us that she loved the song because a comedian wrote it who loved to make people smile, and so did she. Her voice boomed across the stadium, it was so awesome, she was only accompanied by the piano! Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, she started telling the story of how Abner proposed to Amanda in Paris (and just for a split second I thought she would do To Paris With Love : ), but of course she did a splendid, complete version of La Vie En Rose, also with piano accompaniment only. The opening lines of On The Radio brought her much response from the audience (or did one of the star skaters come up?). After On The Radio, another surprise: Dim All The Lights! And as the evening came to a close, of course the obligatory Bad Girls/Hot Stuff and Last Dance. By now, I noticed people around me finally standing up! 

During all of these songs a lot was happening on stage (dancers, visuals on a huge video screen, acrobats) and on the skating ring, but my eyes were glued to Donna only. That brings me to point something out: most people came for the champions of figure ice skating, so during Donna's performance, I couldn't help but suspecting that most eyes were directed to the beautiful and magnificent moves of the skaters. For most I think Donna's singing was only background music, which is a pity as she may not have gotten the attention she more than deserves. But that said, as far as I was concerned I had the time of my life in the company of the woman who has filled my heart with music and love since 1979. It was more than worth the trip to Zurich (beautiful city by the way, it was my first time there...).

Jeff Muskiet
Holland

 

Photos from Jeff
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 © 2011 the author and photographer
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