Fan Stories - 3
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Dear Julee,
As an American living in Switzerland since 19 years now, I have had the great pleasure to 
see Ian Jon Bourg in both “Phantom Of The Opera” in Hamburg and now recently in 
"Tanz der Vampire" in Stuttgart, Germany. I was so impressed, that I feel the distinct 
need to write a short report of our recent visit to TdV.
The idea to travel to Stuttgart to see TdV was Jutta’s. I had given notice at my job, and 
was finishing off the last few days there until July 12th. Because Jutta knew that I had been totally frustrated with my job and was so glad that it was all over, she asked me if I’d like 
to go to Stuttgart. I automatically answered YES, and said let’s go right after I’m finished 
at my old job. Nothing better than a short break from my own four walls at home to make 
the future look brighter. My new job starts on August 2nd.
Was I glad that I wanted to travel right away, because otherwise we would have 
missed Ian if we had waited a week. We must have had a guardian angel whisper to us 
to go immediately, as he flew off on vacation two days later!
Stuttgart was engulfed in rainy, cool, miserable weather upon our arrival. But not to worry, 
we were just so glad to have the tickets in our hands!! After freshening up at our hotel 
and meeting up with Bettina (who lives not far from Stuttgart), off we went to the 
SI-Centrum. My girlfriends already knew their way around the mall, but to me it was all
new and I enjoyed the little shops in the arcade beneath the theater. We had a bite to eat
(not a vampire bite) then headed for the theater entrance. The decorations around the 
theater sent some chills down my spine. By the looks of it, and all the staff members that
were dressed in blood red shirts and black capes, I began to think that it all had a very 
definite spooky effect. Most everything was colored in black or red; even the cocktails 
from the bar were all bloody looking!
The souvenir shops were requested to return most of their merchandise, due to the 
changeover from Stella to Stage Holding, so not too many goodies were available. We 
took a long look at the roster of the players for the afternoon performance. Jutta was 
grinning ear to ear as the name Ian Jon Bourg stood opposite Count Krolock! Both 
Bettina and Jutta gave me a short synopsis of this vampire story, and confessed that all 
else would have to be absorbed from the show live.
Off we went to our seats…uh-oh, they were already taken!!  Two rather arrogant and beady-eyed men said adamantly that those were their seats. A ticket control showed that
the seats were given out twice (once by Stella; once by Stage Holding). Off we went to 
the usherette, who put us in the same row, but on the left-hand side instead of the right, so luckily we had no further problems.
Just as I was fiddling with my ear plugs, the music started with such a loud crescendo that
both Jutta and I jumped a foot from our seats!!  Quickly I got them in and settled back in 
great expectations. Well, we weren’t disappointed!!! From the very first moment on, this unusually sinister musical pulled us into it’s spell.  The spoken and sung diction was 
excellent in German and I was glued to the stage happenings. There was just so much to 
look at, to marvel at, to take in!!
Enter Ian Jon Bourg as Count Krolock stage, he truly looked like a vampire!!
He immediately took command of our emotions. His every motion was so flowing, so overwhelming, so convincing!!  Ian showed such an unbelievable stage presence, but this
is not strictly because of his tall height. He sinks into his character the way a surgeon cuts
open a body…with precision!!  Every swaying of his cape, every controlled turn, every 
sharp concentrated look into the eyes of his prey, every dramatically sung word was so
exact, graceful and charming that one yearns for more.
I was anxious for the second act to start. Again, the music made me jump as the second
act commenced. Honestly I found the music terrific and notable to become catchy tunes, 
but it was too loud!!  Without ear plugs I would have been suffering.  All the characters 
gave their utmost and received roaring applause already during the show. The 
choreography was fantastic!! I must mention the name of the dancer who most impressed
me: Stéphane Le Breton danced with such incredible, synchronized, heartwarming, and 
sensual movements, that I was wishing for more...
The graveyard scene was especially good! The dancers showed such expertise in their 
field, and I loved the terrific costumes they wore to the midnight ball!! The music at this
time is haunting, yet had a strong beat. The vampire dance was enthralling; the 
choreography super!! What I also liked was the use of the theater aisles for the performers.
It brought them a bit closer and integrates them with us!!  Then Ian gave his extra best solo rendition of “Die unstillbare Gier” (never-ending hunger) which stimulated every last nerve
going down my spine……brrrrr!!  Bravo Monsieur, sehr geistreich gesungen!!
The surprise ending  (which I won’t divulge) made a final statement to the whole story, 
and left a haunting premonition that we would certainly be back again. I particularly 
enjoyed the last segment of dancing, which made the whole audience want to get up 
and dance too!!  I don’t usually jump up from my seat to give a standing ovation, but I 
was just soooo impressed that I stood up the very first moment when the dancers came on stage for curtain call. I wanted to be sure to let them know how great they did too!!  The 
whole audience was standing and clapping and stomping!  I love the way Ian takes a bow,
and puts a hand to his heart!!
I try not to compare performers in musicals. Many a Phantom won my heart with a super performance. I have my favorites like everyone else. But I would just like to add my own personal comparison in that Ian did an outstanding job, and a more perfect one than Kevin Tarte. Oh dear, Kevin’s fans will be hounding me….it is only my personal opinion. But I 
will return to the TdV musical in Stuttgart and see what they both have to offer a second 
time.   ;-)
Thanks to you Ian for a fantastic performance and making our weekend extra special. I celebrate my birthday in September, and am now making plans to travel to Stuttgart again
as a present to myself !!   All the very best to you and enjoy your stay in Germany…hey, 
btw, your German is getting better and better !
Respectfully submitted,
Denice Rüegg  xo  

= Fan story 4 =