It's a special night in Aachen, Germany. As I write this, the Symphony Orchestra Aachen, directed by Marcus R. Bosch, is tuning up in Aachen's beautiful Deutsche Bank Stadium. The program will include Tschaikowsky's "Swan Lake" and waltzes by Strauss as well as parts from the musicals "West Side Story" and from "My Fair Lady".
But the orchestra will be on the sidelines. In the arena will be celebrity riders like dressage great Olympic Champion Monica Theodorescu and current World Champion in Vaulting, Kai Vorberg. They'll be riding under theater lighting, and interpreting the music with their horses.
The concert is one of many star-studded events that make up the World Equestrian Festival, which opened last night in Aachen. Many of the world's top equestrian athletes will compete over the next week at the Festival, which will be a final test before many of the horses enter quarantine for the Olympics in Hong Kong.
Aachen is the quarantine site for many of the European and American horses who have qualified for Hong Kong.