I Found The Netherlands To Be Cozier Than Australia
Mirusia Louwerse’s Youth:Under the heading of “The Youth of ……..” Weekend will go back every week to the roots of a well known Dutch Personality. This week we scan through the photo album of 28 year old Mirusia Louwerse. A songstress, who became well known by her performances with André Rieu’s orchestra, and hails from Australia. She has always had two great loves: singing and nature. “I was a real bush girl, and I can name you all the names of birds, plants and animals.”Weekend Magazine, June 5, 2013 by Johan Lok
Mirusia Louwerse was born on 29 March 1985 in the Australian city of Brisbane. The first five years of her life she lived on Sweets Road. After that she moved to another part of Brisbane and lived on Fir Street. “My Mom and Dad are Jack and Henja Louwerse, and are Dutch” Mirusia said when she was just back in the Netherlands again to perform with André’s Rieu orchestra, where she has a permanent position as soprano. When André invited me to sing with him, I lived in the Netherlands for four years. And since my courtship had ended, André became ill, and I was very much homesick, I decided to return to Australia. And now I fly regularly back and forth.”
Her Dutch parents decided in 1980 to move to Australia since there was plenty of work available there, and that country would give you a visa for an indefinite period of time if you decided to live and work there. “My Dad is a real lover of water sports, and is employed in the boating industry. My mother was a nurse. Later on she became an activities director for the elderly in the prince William-Alexander Village in Brisbane. I was born five years after they had moved to Australia. The first five years of my life I lived on Sweets Road. What I remember from there is that we really had enormous space behind the house. In the back there my Dad built boats, so I grew up in nature. The weather was always nice, so we were always outside. I soon knew all the flowers and animals that grew and lived there. That instilled in me an enormous love for nature, and that I pretty much know all the names of the birds, plants and animals.
“Across from us lived an older Dutch couple, I called him Opa (Dutch for Grandpa) Kees and Oma (Dutch for Grandma) Fien. They had a farm and kept animals like cows and chickens. I think I spent a lot of time there too” Mirusia remembers. She was always a tough girl. Not a tom-boy though. Even though I could run as fast as the boys, I refused to wear slacks. I always wore a skirt or dress, preferably pink. Mirusia never had siblings. “I cannot say whether I miss that, since I do not how that would have been had I had siblings. There were always plenty of boyfriends and girlfriends at my house. My parent thought that was wonderful. Perhaps as kind of a compensation for the lack of siblings. Singing is Mirusia’s life. “My Oma Ria, who will be 90 this year, and who lives in Breda, came to Australia for a year. She lived with us on our property in a caravan. Together with her we sang songs, and the fun part was that we recorded them, so we could listen to what they sounded like. I realized back then already that this was something I wanted to pursue. And that I was good at it. I even though I sang better then Oma, ha, ha.
When she was five, Mirusia moved to another part of Brisbane. “My Dad owned a boat, moored in the harbor, but that was every time a 45 minute’s drive in order to get there. So he bought a house on Fir Street. That was located on a river, so the boat could be moored behind the house. The move to Fir Street was of course not so nice since I lost all my girl friends due to that. But I made new friends very quickly and it also opened up a new world for me. Because you could swim in the river and there were fish and little crabs there. Fantastic that was…..We very frequent went on vacation with the boat. I can remember once we went to an island, made a campfire on the beach, in which I was deliciously staring.
All of the sudden my Mom said: “Don’t be scared, Mirusia, but look very slowly to your left. “ There all of the sudden was a kangaroo standing next to me. What a wonderful experience that was. I had a similar experience on the boat once. I had jumped from the boat into the sea and was swimming along the boat when a dolphin came swimming next to me and stayed close for a long time” Mirusia remembers. Mirusia was very close with one of the neighbor girls. “She also liked to sing and with her I also devised dances. And I played the recorder and even become involved in sports. I primarily went into jiu-jitsu, and became quite fanatic in it, and eventually achieve the orange belt.”
Snug in the Netherlands
With her parents she traveled to the Netherlands several times. “Once when I was six months old, when I was five, eleven and fifteen. I still remember going to the Efteling when I was five. That was great. I found the Netherlands to be so nice and snug. In Australia everything is far and wide and here every one lives on top of one another. That is much cozier. We pay more attention to our gardens, while here more in the house. Not so strange after all since in Australia you basically live your entire life outdoors, while you can only do that every so often here. “When she was twelve her Dad made her choose between sport s and music. I choose music. “My teacher then also provided chances to perform. When I was fourteen I earned my first 20 dollars with a performance during a festival. I sang songs by Celine Dion, Shania Twain and many country and western songs, since they are very popular here in Australia.“ Singing had become a big part of her life. “At 16 I was singing every weekend in a jazz café, accompanied by a pianist. I led a totally different life than my classmates. They went out parting and spending all their money, while I was earning mine. Sometimes I did miss going out with others. But on the other hand I was also a girl who liked to be by herself and was OK by being alone.” Mirusia was being asked more and more to perform at weddings and funerals.
First to find a man
Those who thought that the boys would be lining up for her will be disappointed. “Not that I really noticed that,” she says laughingly. But immediately added that there were always boys around. “I was always in a relationship, although it actually never amounted to anything. My first true love was when I was 17. His name was Mathew. He was my high school sweetheart. I just happen to hear that he is married and has a child.” In the years Mirusia lived in the Netherlands, she was in a relation with Sebastiaan, but that ended a few years later. “We are still very good friends. I am currently not in any relation. It is difficult for the men to accept that I have to travel all over the world in order to perform and am very often gone from home for an extended period of time. Currently there is only one love in my life and that is music. After high school her music teacher advised her to go to the conservatory. She auditioned for the Queensland Conservatory and was accepted. After he studies she became a professional singer. It was her aunt Els from Ulvenhout who sent a mail to André Rieu and made him attend to her 21 year old niece. The rest is history. “With André and his orchestra, I have travelled the entire world. What did you think of the recent King’s Ball? It was very cold, but did definitely not want to miss it. What a wonderful experience that was on the Museum square.”
In September Mirusia will again be back in the Netherlands. “That is when Oma Ria will turn 90. That will be a huge celebration. And subsequently I will start my solo tour throughout the Netherlands, called “My Second Home Tour”, although I do not live here anymore.” There are of course still desires. “First of all to be able to continue to sing, and eventually start a family. I definitely want children. But I would first have to find a husband who accepts my way of life” she says in closing.
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