Wim Hoste can sometimes come off sounding like a self-help book. With one liners such as ‘nothing is easy in life; you must be strong’, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking it’s all a PR stunt. But speak to him for a few more minutes and his sincerity shines through.
This weekend, Hoste is bringing a show aptly called Morning Melodies to the UAE; it begins at 11.30am at the Madinat Theatre. These numbers include classics such as What a Wonderful World, Sea of Love, She, From Russia with Love, New York New York, My Way and Time to Say Goodbye.
Then, the same evening, Hoste brings covers of famous songs from musicals such as Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Cats and Dirty Dancing to the stage.
Ahead of the shows, Hoste speaks to Gulf News tabloid! about why he’s decided to introduce a new format of performance to Dubai audiences, why he’s had four careers and what’s love got to do with it.
The artist who’s lived in the country for 12 years has played at Golf Clubs and community theatres. And on this circuit, a meeting with Alex Broun, producer of Amazing Dubai, led to talk of the morning format.
“It’s very popular in the US and Australia, in fact it’s also become popular in Europe. And we said, let’s give it a try: people can do a morning show and they can go for lunch or go for breakfast and then go for show,” says Hoste.
The other thing they tapped into is the burgeoning love Dubai has for both theatrics and songs. “The Best of Broadway is also the concept which we have never seen in the UAE. So the way we do it, we take all the musicals; the famous ones; and we perform songs of each musical,” he explains.
Being on stage has long been a passion of Hoste’s. He has acted sporadically in productions all through his life; however, he decided to call it a career two years ago. “I have [had] four careers,” explains the Belgium-born actor-singer. “My first career was [as] a sportsman; I became [an] athlete in Belgium a long time ago, I was only into sports. [He was a swimmer]. Then I went into the travel business. I was working for the national air in Belgium; I travelled around the world and became the vice-president of the airline. At one point, I went into the logistics and transport business; for more than 15 years I’ve been in [this] business.”
He never forgot his first love, though. And, he says, “It’s never too late to go for your dreams.”
It is the fear of regret that pushes him to do better. “The worst thing about people is they have to look backwards and say I could have done this, I could have done that,” he says. “So I did it [whatever I wanted to do].”
What about family? To head home and talk about changing your profession can’t be easy. Turns out, for Hoste it’s not so tough either. He just “convinced my wife to sing with me”. Fortunately, he’s married to Korean mezzo soprano Jin Soo Young.
Sounds like a musical in the making? Maybe the self-help book talk actually works.
Don’t miss it!
Morning Melodies will be staged on October 5 at 11.30am at the Madinat Theatre, with tickets priced at Dh105. The Best of Broadway, which starts at 8pm at the same theatre, is priced at Dh125.