Holland’s Got Talent Winner Amira
Realizes Her Dream on The Vrijthof
July 12, 2014 Laurens Bouvrie: During Friday’s concert, Andre Rieu granted the audience more time than usual to return to their seats on the Vrijthof after the intermission. But that was not without good reason. The (wonder) girl from Nijmegen, Amira Willighagen, made an appearance on-stage. For those who do not know: the then 9-year-old girl dominated last year’s edition of Holland's Got Talent which she eventually also won. And she did not win by performing the song of a contemporary pop star. She had the whole of the Netherlands entranced with her rendition of Puccini’s O Mio Bambino Caro. Last night, just after ten,Amira’s dream of performing with the world-renowned Maastricht artist came true and will be repeated on Saturday evening. Once again, just as during her performances on the talent program, the child star pulled out all the stops with her performance, which earned her a standing ovation.
►The nightingale from Gelderland has already had a previous professional meeting with Andre Rieu. Earlier this year, he invited her to participate in a master class in London. For the past week, Amira – who created a sensation late last year with her brilliant performances in Holland’s Got Talent – has been rehearsing at Rieu’s studio in North Amby. Today, just as she did yesterday, she will stick to performing one aria. According to Radio Gelderland, the child prodigy will leave for Switzerland with her family next week. There she will participate in a music festival for children from all over the world.
Three mayors and a prince. They have already met once before at the Struys (the Vogelstruys pub), but then it was four former mayors and thethen Henri Hochstenbach. Jan Mans was also present at the opening of Jack Vreeke’s exhibition at the Carnival in 2012, while he was the acting mayor of Maastricht. Current mayor, Onno Hoes (r), Philippe Houben (second from right) and Gerd Leers (third from left) were all invited to Friday evening’s concert. It was Rieu’s way of thanking the city of Maastricht for its support during 10 years of Vrijthof concerts. To the left of Gerd Leers is his wife, Genoveef Leers, and Hoes's partner, Albert Verlinde.
Guus Meeuwis (singer and song writer), the pride of the province of North Brabant, is also visiting worldstar Rieu the most famous “Maastrichtenaar” of all time.
But Rieu did not only have one surprise for the public. He invited - as a gesture of appreciation to the City of Maastricht – the three mayors during whose terms of office he not only made a name for himself, but rose to stardom – a fame which is still intensifying across the world. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Rieu’s summer performances at the Vrijthof. Philip Houben, Gerd Leers and Onno Hoes sat together amicably in the first row. During the intermission they enjoyed a bottle of wine with the now former “stadsprins”, Henri I, who is also the manager of the café, In den Ouden Vogelstruys.
We will publish a comprehensive report on last night’s Rieu concert later today. Extra attention will be given to the fans of the Maastricht world-star.
Translation by Entia