In March 2013 PBII & The Hague Youth Symphony Orchestra released their masterpiece 1000Wishes (see review), a rock opera based upon the book Eric En Het Land Van 1000 Wensen, which means in English Eric And The Land Of 1,000 Wishes, written by Ronald van der Pol. It contains a heroic adventure of the young boy Eric and his struggle to overcome cancer. His grandfather's tales of the knight Lorian help him to look at the bright side of life where there's always hope. The proceeds of this project are meant to be for the Dutch foundation KiKa, an abbreviation of Kinderen Kankervrij (Children Free Of Cancer). I visited the first performance of this rock opera in Amsterdam (see review) and called it a mind-boggling experience highly recommended to those who like musical theatre performed by great actors, dancers, musicians and many volunteers. Later on two more shows were done and filmed for a DVD.
After the fourth and final official performance of 1000Wishes this DVD has been released featuring the performance from the 31st of March at the Rijswijkse Schouwburg. For people who have visited one of these concerts the DVD is a great keepsake, because they can relive all the fantastic moments that took place during the performance of this rock opera. For those who couldn't attend this show it's a great opportunity to see this spectacular event close by. This registration lasts for one hour and forty seven minutes and deals with the adventures of the boys Erik and Sander. Both have cancer and stay at a hospital to get treatment for this often lethal disease. In the meantime Eric's grandfather came all the way from Australia to visit his grandson.
If you understand the Dutch language − unfortunately no subtitles are available − you can easily follow the story that takes place before your very eyes. For those who haven't witnessed any of these live shows, but still want to see this DVD I won't tell what eventually happens to the boys. However, if you want to know all about the story then please, read my review of the first live performance! I can tell you in advance that it's rather difficult to keep your eyes dry and without getting a lump in your throat. The music written and performed by PBII & The Hague Youth Symphony Orchestra for this amazing rock opera is of a very high level. In my CD and concert review I described it as a fine blend of classical music, opera and progressive rock. The music of acts like Yes and Rick Wakeman crossed my mind several times. Sometimes it even made me think of the American musical West Side Story (1957).
I have to give a big compliment to the people who filmed the entire rock opera with quite a number of cameras. They succeeded in providing fine close-ups of the musicians, the actors and dancers on stage. This also applies to those who were responsible for the perfect sound and the stage lights. All these things together make this a professional DVD of an international level. Apart from the registration of the rock opera you can also find some interesting extras on 1000Wishes, like a short promo of the KiKa foundation, a ten-minute long promo for the rock opera and finally all eleven animations used for the projection screen at the back of the stage. This will last for 36 minutes containing the music that was played while the footage was shown.
I was already very positive about the CD and the performance of this rock opera and the same applies to this DVD. It shows how a registration of a rock opera should be done! Most DVDs don't fully capture the right sound and atmosphere that you'll enjoy during a live performance. However, the people behind this release succeeded in getting 1000Wishes in full glory in your living room! All in all I can only give the maximum rating of five stars for this great record.
***** Henri Strik (edited by Peter Willemsen)
Where to buy?
All Rights Reserved Background Magazine 2013