This weekend it is 350 years ago that Coevorden was liberated from the Bishop of Münster, nickname: Bommen Berend. This historical event is re-enacted in the music theater show of the same name.

    Buses full of visitors drove into the Warehouse complex in Coevorden last night. The first performance Bommen Berend took place on this closed defense site, in honor of the 350th anniversary of Coevorden’s relief this weekend. The Royal Military Band ‘Johan Willem Friso’ performed the piece, together with three professional and well-known singers. And that was a real spectacle.

    The story of this musical experience takes place in Disaster Year 1672 in Coevorden and Groningen. The singers play the roles of Bernhard von Galen/Bommen Berend (Nico Wouterse), Lambertien from Coevorden (Céline Janssen) and General Rabenhaupt (Wil van der Meer), who sang about themes such as freedom, being proud of your origin and hope. They did this in three languages, German, Dutch and Low Saxon.

    The hall was packed and the audience was very enthusiastic, as was apparent from the prolonged, standing applause that the musicians received. “It was a really great spectacle. I can’t compare it to anything. It was really fantastic,” says Ageeth Kranenborg from Coevorden. “Especially the end, the climax, then a certain emotion came up in me, I must say.” She believes that everyone in Coevorden and the surrounding area should see the performance.

    Marijn Boone-Janssen from Utrecht also enjoyed the performance. And from her sister in particular, who plays in the orchestra. “I thought it was a very good performance. Firstly, the location. But it was also really well played.”

    That location, a warehouse in the field of defense, can be called unique. “It’s not theatre,” explains project leader Roelie Lubbers. “And this is an area where citizens normally have nothing to do, and do not come. So to be able to take a look here, that is already very nice.”

    But also all praise for the orchestra. Geert Hoving from Westerbork has listened breathlessly and looks ahead to the possible closure of the Johan Willem Friso barracks. “Would the chapel then move from Drenthe? That would be a shame. Such a beautiful orchestra. That plays for an hour and a half, and is in rope. In one word, it is wonderful.”

    On Friday afternoon and evening, two more performances will be performed in Coevorden. On Sunday there is another performance in the Oosterpoort in Groningen. On January 1, 2023, TV Drenthe will broadcast the registration of the performance.

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