(Above: Dutch symphonic metal band, Within Temptation. How would you like these guys all up in ur symphony hall?)
Holland's Metropole Orchestra describes themselves as the world's largest pop & jazz orchestra in da world, performing everything from cabaret to cinema scores to symphonic metal. Currently led by American conductor/composer Vince Mendoza, the orchestra was founded by Dolf van der Linden in 1945 (who led the orchestra until 1980) to provide public radio with a popular musical legacy in a postwar society. After careful consideration, Opera Chic, the internet's foremost internetarian, would rather describe the Metropole as the world's most hardcore orchestra -- pushing the pedal to the metal, grinding the wheels of steel...shredding your Shostakovich, blasting your Bach, licking your Ludwig, and violating your Vivaldi.
Tonight the Metropole Orchestra is playing a concert called "Black Symphony" in Rotterdam, under conductor Jules Buckley, backing a Dutch goth/metal symphonic band called Within Temptation. The "Black Symphony" is billing itself as an exploration of Neo-classical metal, with themes borrowed heavily from the power metal of the ‘70s & ‘80s, and meshed with strains of Wagner, Stravinsky, and Hindemith. The venue tonight will hold 60 members of the Metropole Orchestra, a 35-person classical choir, the 6 members of Within Temptation, and special guest Keith Caputo (front man of "Life of Agony", a Brooklyn-based metal band) -- all in front of a multimedia display being called "Europe's largest video screen".
Within Temptation dropped from Holland in 1996, and is described as a gothic/rock symphonic metal band, although USA audiences are fond of calling them "the Dutch version of Evanescence", both being gothy-metal bands fronted by women. oh snap. (Here’s Evanescence's "Good Enough" and "Call Me When You’re Sober" for those uninitiated [warning: loud YouTube links])
Within Temptation’s latest album is titled "The Heart of Everything". It hit the stores last July, and served as the Dutch band's official introduction to American audiences (you can sample a single, "What Have You Done" here via YouTube). "The Heart of Everything" was mixed by Stefan Glaumann of the East German metal band Rammstein, who we opera denizens last heard of when René Pape released his solo album "Mein Herz Brennt" with German composer Torsten Rasch, basing the song-cycle after the works of the industrial metal band.
Opera Chic awards the Metropole Orchestra as having a name almost as kewl as the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest, that "other" Nederlander orchestra. However, browsing the orchestra profiles of the Metropole, we think they've got the Concertgebouw beat by a Mozart mile.
Czech out a sampling of these bada$$ orchesd0rks: Herman van Haaren on second violin (omg headshot w/his violin *backwards*? t0tally satanic! RAWK!), Arend Liefkes on bass (d00d, he's like v(º_o)v -- we'd sooo want him on our side in a bar fight), and Paul van der Feen on saxophone (with his +9 leather jacket lightning spell to attack the ladies). Those guys are pretty hardcore. But not as harcore as OC (I’m hardc0re as f**k) \m/ \m/
(Above: Herman van Haaren on second violin for the Metropole Orchestra)
(Above: Arend Liefkes on bass for the Metropole Orchestra)
(Above: Paul van der Feen on saxophone for the Metropole Orchestra)