Andre Rieu premieres Anthony Hopkins waltz in Vienna
Anthony Hopkins typically doesn’t play roles he can just waltz through. But now, much to his satisfaction, Andre Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra have done just that with a waltz the noted actor composed for them.
Hopkins was in attendance as Rieu premiered “And the Waltz Goes On” on July 3 in Vienna.
Filmgoers know Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, the man-eating epicure of “Silence of the Lambs” and its sequels; as the emotionally repressed butler of “Remains of the Day”; and the strait-laced Oxford don of “Shadowlands” who learns it’s better to have loved and lost. Currently, they're seeing him in flowing white beard and hair as Odin, the angry, one-eyed god-in-chief of “Thor.”
Despite that less-than-sunny resume, Hopkins now has found common ground with Rieu, who last year told The Times that he defines waltzes as “music to make people happy and to bring joy to the world.”
Rieu issued a press release Tuesday announcing his plans to record “And the Waltz Goes On” for his next album, and to perform it on a fall tour of the United States, Canada and Mexico scheduled to begin Sept. 10 (there are no West Coast dates).
According to the announcement, Hopkins has been a fan of Rieu for several years, and sent him his waltz hoping it would land him a meeting with the Dutch violinist-conductor. Now that they’ve met and collaborated, “I’m totally knocked out by the result,” the erstwhile Hannibal the Cannibal said.
This isn’t Hopkins’ first composing gig. In 1996, while making his film-directing debut with “August,” an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” set in Wales, Hopkins also composed the score; a Times reviewer praised his music as “quite effective and affecting.”
For “Slipstream,” a surrealistic 2007 indie film he wrote, directed and starred in alongside his wife, Stella Arroyave, Hopkins composed the 64-minute score, performing much of it himself on synthesizers and conducting a small orchestra in some passages.
-- Mike Boehm
Photo: Hopkins and Rieu at a performance in Vienna on July 3. Credit: Govert de Roos