Amsterdam is the story of a euthanasia pact between two friends, a composer and a newspaper editor, whose relationship spins into disaster.
The book begins with the funeral of artist Molly Lane. Guests at the funeral include British Foreign Secretary Julian Garmony, newspaper editor Vernon Halliday, and composer Clive Linley. The three share certain attributes: each has a very high opinion of himself, each was at some time Molly's lover, and each regards the dead woman's husband, George, with a mixture of amusement and contempt.
Clive and Vernon muse upon Molly's death. It seems she had some kind of rapid-onset brain disease (not specified) that left her helpless and mad. Neither man can understand her attraction to Julian Garmony, the right-wing Foreign Secretary who is about to challenge his party's leadership.
Clive returns home to continue work on a symphony he has been commissioned to write for the forthcoming millennium. Much of the work is complete, save the crucial signature melody. He resolves to go walking in the Lake District, as this tends to inspire him.
Brel worked on the song at his house overlooking the Mediterranean at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin, the house he shared with Sylvie Rivet, a publicist for Philips; a place she had introduced him to in 1960. "It was the ideal place for him to create, and to indulge his passion for boats and planes. One morning at six o'clock he read the words of Amsterdam to Fernand, a restaurateur who was about to set off fishing for scorpion fish and conger eels for the bouillabaisse. Overcome, Fernand broke out in sobs and cut open some sea urchins to help control his emotion."
- - Het Parool (Amsterdam-based daily newspaper) ... Van Manen has choreographed more than 150 ballets and his works are performed by the most esteemed ballet companies all around the world ... I am looking forward to working again with the amazing dancers of DutchNationalBallet who I enjoyed working with, a few years ago in Amsterdam.".
In the heart of Amsterdam’s Red Light District, in front of a magnificently imposing church, a piece of art in the road attracts just as many eyes as all the provocative scenery that surrounds it ... It houses both Amsterdam’s city hall and the NationalOpera & Ballet ... Street numbers were an unknown concept in Amsterdam until the 18th century.
— DaniaMaxwell... This day was the best ... When I received the request for the assignment about the refugee ballet dancers from Ukraine, I immediately accepted ... For this, I first traveled from Germany to Amsterdam to Monaco. I witnessed Martin Korol incredibly focused and motivated when I photographed him in the ballet class with his new classmates.
So she left the Bolshoi, the storied company whose name is synonymous with ballet, with its gilded theatres just blocks from the Kremlin, uprooted her life and moved to Amsterdam, where she joined the DutchNationalBallet...Olga Smirnova at the Dutch National Opera and Ballet in Amsterdam.