Last night, the Grote Zaal of Muziekgebouw aan het IJ was graced by the extraordinary talents of Richard Bona and the Metropole Orchestra.
This performance was a long-anticipated one, originally slated for January 2022 but postponed due to the pandemic.
From the moment the Metropole Orchestra’s truck pulled into our loading dock, a whirlwind of activity took over. Crew members rushed to set the stage, filling trusses with lights and positioning double basses. Within moments, the stage was transformed, ready to host the massive orchestra.
The Metropole Orchestra, as ever, was on point—sharp, precise, and incredibly professional. Under the direction of Vince Mendoza, the orchestra flawlessly accompanied Richard Bona, a virtuoso bassist known for blending jazz, latin, pop, afrobeat, and funk in his music. His masterful use of the ’looper’ turned his voice into an instrument, creating an ethereal soundscape that resonated magnificently in the Grote Zaal’s perfect acoustics.
The night was an auditory feast, showcasing Bona’s orkestrale renditions of his best work and new compositions. From a crew member’s perspective, seeing the transformation from an empty stage to a full-fledged orchestral setup in a blink was a sight to behold. But what will linger the longest is the hauntingly beautiful music that filled the air, reminding us all of the power of live performances.