Amira in concert – October 2019

Concert-wise, October has been a very busy month for Amira. Here are some highlights!

On October 23rd, Amira and Corlea Botha performed at the Nelson Mandela University South Campus Auditorium in Port Elizabeth. The concert was titled Two Sopranos in Concert and organised by The Music Society of Port Elizabeth. The two ladies were accompanied by the Nelson Mandela University Choir. 

An eyewitness report, as provided by Robert Zahn:
What an incredible evening! 
Tine and I attended the grand finale concert in the 2019 series of the ‘Music Society of Port Elizabeth’ at NMU. 
The impressive university choir introduced two sopranos, namely Amira Willighagen and Corlea Botha. 
Amira Willighagen,15, won ‘Holland’s Got Talent’ in 2013 at the age of 9. She has moved to South Africa and is absolutely sensational. What I really admire the most about this young lady is that she makes donations to the ‘Gelukskinders Foundation’, ensuring that playgrounds for the underprivileged are built in South Africa. Her voice was powerful and repertoire wide. The packed theatre was spell bound by the magical voice. 
Corlea Botha is well known and needs no introduction. Her involvement in ‘Classics is Groot’ will be known to most and she has so much CHUTZPAH, that she had us in tears of laughter between her powerful pieces.
Corlea had a cold and apologised for not always being able to hit the high notes. I would not even have noticed had she not informed us. 

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Christmas gift/sponsor deal, fanday Nov. 30th and concert Dec. 1st

Important also for fanday and concert visitors. This comes after the Christmas gift part.

This year, the Christmas gift for Amira is the sponsor deal.
That item is listed separately in the Gelukskinders web shop: https://www.gelukskinders.org/shop/SPONSORDEAL-p149320449
This time no new playground, but a big boost for the maintenance fund. In the past five years, all maintenance has been done from the general income. However, the costs for this increase as the number of playgrounds grows, 12 new ones and one adopted now, so the general income is being spent more and more on maintenance. This is therefore at the expense of new playgrounds. The age of the playgrounds will also eventually count. All the equipment will eventually have to be replaced. The equipment is heavily used by the children. In order to be able to continue building new playgrounds, the realized playgrounds must be guaranteed to be maintained. It is essential that every playground is maintained by Gelukskinders. The schools cannot take that on themselves. They have no money for that.
The playgrounds bear Amira’s name, the foundation cannot afford to turn a blind eye to this very important work. Not now, not tomorrow and actually never. Accidents happen at playgrounds, that is the case everywhere and schools are insured against accidents like that. Scratches, bloody knees, bruises, up to, unfortunately, broken limbs – who hasn’t had that kind of experience as a child or as a parent? However, when a child is hurt as a result of negligent maintenance, it reflects directly on the foundation, including Amira. That must be prevented at all times.

Regular maintenance is of vital importance!

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Concert in Louis Trichardt

On September 14, 2019, Amira performed at Emmanuel Christian School in Louis Trichardt, SA. Here’s an eyewitness report on that unforgettable event, as well as some photos.

On 14 September, Louis Trichardt in Limpopo Province had the great privilege of experiencing the wonderful singing of Amira during a concert filled with great music.
From the first note on stage for her first three songs, she had the audience mesmerised and applauding enthusiastically.
She started off with Amazing Grace, which is a lot of people’s favourite. Then she sang Hallelujah and ended the first part with How great Thou art.
Next to perform were the ensemble put together specially for the concert, consisting of local performers: piano, flute, violin, guitar and bass guitar, joined by the children of the ZCVO School outside of town and an adult choir. After they had performed four songs, it was Amira’s turn again, this time with the title track from her new album, With All My Heart, as well as a medley from The Sound of Music.The violin and piano were next with Czardas by Monti, after which Amira came on for Nella Fantasia and Plaisir d’Amour.The piano and flute then performed Allegro by Mozart, after which the adult choir performed three songs.
The opera section was introduced by the flute, violin and piano with the Flower Duet from Lakmé. Amira came on to perform O mio babbino caro after changing her dress. The wonderful evening was concluded with the singing of Dana Winner’s Let the children have a world by the whole ensemble and the children, followed by Amira and the adults with Gabriella’s Song. Needless to say, the audience gave her a standing ovation, after which she and Fincent distributed thank you cards to everyone, which they really appreciated. The feedback received afterwards was unanimously positive and Amira stole a lot of hearts with her willingness to greet her fans and have her photo taken with all and sundry. Truly a fantastic evening!

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Amira and Tygerberg Children’s Choir

On April 16th, 2019, Amira performed with the Tygerberg Children’s Choir at Hoërskool Durbanville Auditorium, South Africa.

Here is the eyewitness report by Malcolm Norton. Oh, how we wish we had been there!

Last night a Force Ten {to the power of ten redoubled} tornado hit Cape Town leaving in its wake hundreds of socks blown off all the fortunate victims of its irresistible power. As a survivor I shall try to convey some impressions of the calamity. Calamitous, that is, for all those who weren’t afflicted by it, being far from the mouth- and eye-watering eye of the storm.

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Helmut Lotti & Amira in concert and other March performances

On March 21st, Amira joined Helmut Lotti on stage at the Sun Arena in Pretoria as a guest star.

Helmut Lotti performed a wide variety of songs, ranging from Elvis Presley’s covers to opera arias. Amira performed Nella Fantasia solo and then was joined by Helmut Lotti to create a stunning duet rendition of The Prayer (originally by Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli). They were given a standing ovation and Helmut Lotti presented Amira with a beautiful flower bouquet!

Helmut Lotti, Amira and Didier Vanderhasselt, the Ambassador of Belgium

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Top performance by Amira

An eyewitness report. By Gerhard Landman and Rob Louw.

Everyone was biting their nails when Amira and her mom got caught in rush hour traffic, on Friday the 8th of February. They only arrived at the church very late…. less than 90 minutes before the concert started, and Amira and Martin still had to rehearse together. But both of them being professionals, they successfully rehearsed in less than 30 minutes, and they were perfectly ready when the concert started.

         

I was at the concert of Martin Mans (Organist) at the NG Church in suburb of Waverly in beautiful Pretoria on Friday the 8th of February – where Amira Fever exploded again over all the citizens of the world – Amira was absolutely stunning in delivering her repertoire – she sang as solo the following songs – First half started with Hallelujah – then Gabriella’s Sang and then How Great Thou Art – she then went upstairs to the organ and Martin Mans – and she sang in duet with him one or two Afrikaans Folk songs – after the 30 minute interval her solo songs were Your Love (Morricone), then Nessun Dorma – Amira got a standing ovation for this – again she went upstairs to organ and Martin Mans and she sang Onse Vader (Our Father – Lords Prayer in Afrikaans) – then Amazing Grace then another Folk song and the evening finished off with Nella Fanatasia – so at least 10 songs by Amira – absolutely magical evening and I still can’t believe what I heard – she is the BEST Soprano in the world right now and simply delivers performances that are so out of this world that you struggle to find words to do justice to her – Amira Fever everywhere – and the fans are coming from all over the world to South Africa to get a taste of Amira LIVE in concert – you have to come!!!!!!

Picture credits: Martin Mans

Amira enchants Royal Albert Hall

During the BT Christmas Concert in december, Amira enchanted the audience in the Royal Albert Hall in London. This time, with her interpretation of O Holy Night, a Christmas classic she sang for the first time in public.

Amira – "O Holy Night" @ Royal Albert Hall 2014/12/15 (STEREO)

During the concert, filming was not allowed. Also, we don’t know if a professional video registration of the concert has been made. So, not very usable video material available, but luckily some more useful audio recordings landed on various smart phones in the audience. Check out what happens if you put them together in a stereo-mix…

Amira’s ready for Vegas!

Last december, opera talent Amira Willighagen won the finals of Holland’s Got Talent as well as a trip to Las Vegas. Due to album-recordings and her performances in South-Africa, she didn’t have the time yet, but coming week it’s finally going to happen: Amira goes Vegas! She’ll be leaving coming Saturday, together with her family.

On Sunday there will be a sound check down at Planet Hollywood, where Amira will shine in V – The Ultimate Variety Show, coming Wednesday April 30th at 8:30pm PDT.

Besides the performance, Amira and her family will have plenty of time to enjoy their holiday, for example at the pool of the hotel, or by taking a safari tour.

What the agenda for the rest of the coming week will look like, is yet unknown.