“We stand for peace. Violence is never a solution. Hate has absolutely no place here,” says Giovanni Zarrella in a gray suit. By way of greeting, the host alludes to Vladimir Putin’s murderous attack on Ukraine. “Music is for unity. Music knows no nationality.”
“We” are Beatrice Egli, Andreas Gabalier, Marianne Rosenberg, Maite Kelly, Kerstin Ott and Semino Rossi this evening. And Howard Carpendale, David Garrett, Bernhard Brink and Michael Bublé are also guests on the ZDF show. “What a guest list,” exults Zarrella.
“It’s the best German and international stars on one stage.” And since you don’t keep a Kaiser waiting, as Zarrella says, Roland Kaiser “can’t beat love” right from the start. The lyrics are clear. “No man resists desire. Because the fire accepts everything. And the desire has its course.” Kaiser explains: “I’m a bit more direct than the other colleagues are.”
It is the fourth edition of the “Giovanni Zarrella Show”. The concept of the three feel-good hours is simple. German pop singer. One or two world-class performers. dance ballet. One or two so-called surprises. Small talk on the couch. “We have to go a little faster, we’ve already overrun,” explains Zarrella after less than 30 minutes. “But we’ll make up for it later. If you’re behind, you fall off the back and it’s your turn next time.”
This is of course a joke. But that’s how live shows are: Ramon Roselly jumps after the choreography of the dancers. Howard Carpendale sings a bit out of time. And British star George Ezra is completely out due to illness and prefers to stay in bed at home.
“No mask, that was pure joie de vivre!”: When Gabalier becomes political, Zarrella counteracts
That’s what Andreas Gabalier is there for. He talks about his recording studio in Nashville, USA. “It was nice to see how the Americans deal with Corona. No mask, no proof of vaccination. That was pure joie de vivre!” says the Austrian happily. The spectators in the Velodrom in Berlin all wear masks and cheer anyway. What is Gabalier trying to tell us?
Zarrella notices the wrong stroke of the tongue and counteracts it: “Everything in its time. I think we’re doing it quite sensibly.” By the way, pretty much all of the guests have recorded a new song, are announcing their upcoming tour, or are going on the upcoming tour with a new song. So did Andrea Berg, who also took part in the Ukraine aid. “Insulin, truck, truck driver” – no matter where she called, they all took part right away. Berg explains: “This love, charity, compassion, humanity is the beautiful thing.”
David Garrett sits on the interview couch to promote his autobiography. “Great artist, all live. We missed a colleague like that on German television for a long time,” says the violinist about Zarrella. Garrett is 41 and has “already gotten quite a few stories together.”
Writing the book was an emotional journey. “I’m happy that I did it so well,” he explains. Critics had recently panned the book as rather irrelevant and not very enlightening – but it was a gift. Or not. Because Garrett tells how he earned thousands of euros for his studies at a music academy – as a model, as a librarian, as a club promoter. “I wasn’t too bad for anything,” he says. Precisely because his father didn’t want to contribute a cent, his ambition was spurred on at the time.
Rolf Zuckowski: “You are all wonderful children”
“You are all wonderful children,” calls Rolf Zuckowski from the stage to the audience. Kerstin Ott and Sasha have just presented the song “I never wanted to grow up” with him. Zuckowski once wrote the text and will also be 75 years old on May 12th. Many generations have grown up listening to his songs. So the singer-songwriter gets a musical appreciation.
“My songs have been shared through generations. It’s a gift,” says Zuckowski. He came up with the idea of composing children’s songs 50 years ago because the existing songs were not set in the reality of his children’s lives. He wanted to change that. “Now comes the man with the longest journey,” said Zarella. “He made it from wedding singer to world star.” He doesn’t mean Zuckowski Rolf, but Michael Bublé from Canada.
“I feel really comfortable here,” explains Michael Bublé, and to Giovanni Zarrella: “We’re both like brothers. It’s a great honor for me.” Bublé and Zarrella sing Bublé’s big hit “Home” together. A dream comes true for Zarrella. He shakes his head in disbelief during the duet. He obviously finds it difficult to be on stage with the Canadian. Bublé then says: “We sound good together. Love you brother!” For Zarrella, this is a kind of accolade. In the end, Zarrella overran a little over five minutes. That also just went well.