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Feb 12, 2011

Interview With André Rieu Soloist Mirusia Louwerse

An Interview With Mirusia February 2011

When you perform with André Rieu, you always wear these Sissi (Austrian Empress) like dresses. When away from the stage, are you still very involved in how you look?
►Yes. I very much like fashion. I have a lot of dresses. From Australian designers, but also from Addy van den Krommenacker. I am not a diva in the sense that I cry, I only want a room which has Evian water. I was born in Australia and I am really easy going ... but I just like to be pretty. You will never see me without make-up. Even if it is just to go to the mailbox. I just think it is fun to make myself beautiful. Even when I go to Albert Heijn (Supermarket chain), I put on something nice.
Did you as a child make yourself up with lush hairdo's and put on doll's dresses?
►Yes! Really. I was always a little princess. I enjoyed "dressing up". I am really a girl's girl with hair and dresses, a real someone for the stage. When I was seven years old, I was asked to sing a Christmas song with a choir. It was to be a solo recording. No matter how often the recording was started, I refused to sing. And then mu Mom came to me and asked: "What is the matter, Mirusia? Why don't you sing?" and I said: "I will not sing as long as they (the choir) are here behind me, this is my solo". Only when they left did I start to sing. I have always been a diva.
Is it not difficult to play "second fiddle" with someone like André Rieu? Doesn't he poke his nose into everything?
►Oh yes, into the smallest details. When we are picking out dresses, he'll say: "That I like, that I don't" When we do our make-up he'll say:"That is nice and that isn't, when we go somewhere, what the stage looks like, what sort of background ... All those things are being sorted out by him. He does everything. But since he has been ill, it is a lot less, but that has never been an issue between us." He is more like an uncle to me. Sometimes I even call him "Uncle André".
Does "Uncle André" pay fairly well? For example, can you, wherever you perform, go to the local Pieter Corneliszoon Hooftstraat (Amsterdam's most luxurious and exclusive fashion designer's street) to go shopping?
►Hahaha, of course. Yes I am a singer and I sing all over the world. So yes, I am paid very well. I do frequently shop in the P.C. Hooftstreet. Some of the people there know me already, ha ha.
Do you as a soloist have more privileges than the others? For instance, do you travel with André in his private airplane while the others travel in a by him chartered airplane?
►Sometimes yes. But as a norm we always fly together. Most of the time André flies right along with us.
Do you like André sleep in a suite, or do you have a normal room?
►Just like everyone else, I sleep in a normal room. Most of the time the entire hotel is booked full by us. And when they do not have a suite, André sleeps in a regular room. He is just a very normal man.
Are you allowed to empty the mini bar to your heart's content?
►Only if I pay for it myself, ha ha. Every evening we have an after concert party, so the mini bar is not necessary.
Can some people be malicious because you sing with André Rieu?
►Yes, this past week I received an e-mail with the following: ["You are an opera singer. Conduct yourself as one. And do not perform every evening with that idiot on stage."] ... But I like it that with André you are not there to just sit there and listen to the music, but to have fun. Every evening, people are dancing in the aisles. By the end of the concert, everyone is jumping up and down and doing the conga line. And all that to the tune of "Adieu, mein kleiner Gardeoffizier". (So long, my little Captain of my Heart) André is a huge example for someone like me who also likes to bring classical music to the masses. I find it absurd that during a classical concert you are only allowed to watch and not applaud. When the music makes you happy and you would like to clap or sing along, why is that not allowed? Every evening when I start to sing "Don't cry for me Argentina" I receive a standing ovation and I can hear the entire audience singing along. Singing is just lovely and I do it all day long.
Also in the shower? ►Yes, of course, especially in the shower. That is the place. There you have, along with steam a beautiful echo.
And I take it you sing in front of the mirror? ►Yes, ha ha. Sometimes yes.
Thanks to Ineke for sending this and John for ©Translating it.

4 comments:

Barbara said...

Wonderful interview Mirusia, you have a great sense of humour and i like how you stand by Andre, you are a very sweet and sincere person and pay no attention to the snobs who do not have any thing good to say for they are truly jealous. I think each and everyone of you are absolutely fantastic. Barbara

Anonymous said...

Great interview Mi! The e-mail to
conduct yourself only as an opera
singer was funny. How about an
Aussie-Aussie-Aussie on that one.
Am sure you miss home and family
and hope all works out well so you
can continue with Andre for a few
more years. Your Star is burning so
brightly and warms us all.
Gary M. Bourret Major/Retired USAF

nancy dodson said...

mirusia-do not listen to the opera snobs-any unkind words are just pure envy. I have watched you mature under andre's direction and you are excelent-the opera companies that have not closed for kack of support spend most of their time soliciting funds they would die to see "sold out" nancy dodson

Barbara said...

You know the more i read this interview, and to read the part where Mirusia received an e-mail from the person who told her not to perform every evening with that idiot on stage really pisses me off, who do they think they are to call Andre an idiot, if it was not for Andre we never would have been so lucky to hear Mirusia sing, it was Andre who introduced Mirusia to the world. Andre and the jso put on fantastic concerts and you are sure to have a fun filled evening, so if you do not have anything good to say about Andre than don't say anything at all ,and Mirusia pay no attention to people who do not have anything good to say. Love Barb

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