December 2022. Touring the Netherlands.
On December 8th Mirusia gave her first performance (out of 13), in the Netherlands. Ruud and Ineke
attended the first concert of the series in Waalwijk (N-Brabant). Mirusia, Youri and Sascha had only arrived
at the Netherlands a day ago, after having spent 28 hours in airplanes, so they hadn't fully recovered from
jet lag yet. It was all the more admirable that she gave a flawless performance! We loved the show!
with Enzo Kok
Interview from “The Limburger” , December 8, 2022. By Rob Cobben.
Translation by Ineke, assisted by Jennifer Dawson.
Mirusia's planned Christmas shows in the Netherlands in 2020 and 2021 had to be
canceled due to the pandemic. But now it's really happening. As of today (December 8),
the Dutch-Australian soprano, who became known as “the angel of André Rieu”, can be
seen twelve times with her show “Merry and Bright”. With a New Year's show in
Maastricht for dessert.
Mirusia Louwerse reports with a broad grin on her face via a video connection from Brisbane, Australia. It is
10 AM, but the mercury has already risen to 30 degrees. “It's the height of summer here, but I'm looking
forward to the Dutch winter,” she says spontaneously. “Because let's face it: celebrating Christmas is much
more fun when it's cold and dark outside. In Australia, Christmas takes place outside, around the barbecue.
That is different”.
But even more, the 37-year-old soprano looks forward to reuniting with her Dutch fans, because they have
always been good to her. They have always supported me, even when I left André Rieu’s orchestra and
started my own solo career. She does not know whether she will see the maestro himself. We both have
busy schedules. André with his Christmas shows at the MECC and I with my Merry and Bright Tour. But I
would love to go on stage with him again and revive old times. I am very much indebted to him. Without
André I would never have come this far, he is my mentor. I also consider him my family.
She had to cancel the Christmas shows twice because of the pandemic. “That was unfortunate,” she says.
But she has by no means been idle. “I suddenly had a lot of time to work with young talent. “That is one of
my missions: to help them develop. And tell about my experiences in the music world, so that they can
benefit from it”. She has intensively guided about 10 young musicians in recent years. Often this had to be
done online, due to the lockdowns or other restrictions.
One of her students was Emma Kok, the 14-year-old from Kerkrade (NL), who participated in The Voice
Kids on Dutch TV in 2021. “She asked if I wanted to help her get there in the run-up. She won the final, I'm
super proud of her!” In addition, Mirusia is also committed to music education in schools, because "that is
under serious threat". She is an ambassador for The Australian Music Foundation, which supports music
teachers and funds the purchase of instruments. “Why are we doing that? Because music is so important
for the development of children”.
Her own career is going crescendo. In her native country she now has a superstar status and attracts full
houses. Her trophy cabinet is also starting to fill up. In Canada she received a Classical Award. And in
Hollywood she received a Music and Media Award a few weeks ago for her new Christmas album
“Snowflake”. She also has no complaints about the sales figures of her CDs and DVDs. The most recent
album “Songbird” even made it to the top 5 of the Australian charts. On "Songbird" she covers evergreens
in her own way, such as: Morning has Broken, Send in the Clowns, The Greatest Love of All and Long and
Winding Road. She no longer limits herself to the classical genre. “I like classic, but also variety. I find it
boring to sing only arias, which is why I choose musical, pop and jazz.”
For ten years, Mirusia traveled the world with Rieu's orchestra and was soon nicknamed "The Angel of
Rieu". Her version of Avé Maria during the Vrijthof concerts in 2008 has been viewed more than 57 million
times on Youtube. And the viewing figures of other recordings also make your eyes spin: Time to say
Goodbye 22 million, Panis Angelicus 12 million, Memory 10 million, Don't cry for me Argentina 7.2 million.
“It blows your mind,” she says.
The singer owes Rieu even more. “I also found my great love through him”. In 2015 she married Youri, the
personal assistant of the world famous orchestra leader. Together they now have a daughter: Sascha.
She also has Dutch roots: She was “made in Holland”.
Mirusia is also looking forward to being back in Maastricht. I lived there for 10 years in my twenties. It's
safe to say that I became a woman in this city. I love that city, like to stroll there, enjoy a drink on a terrace
or visit a pub. You don't have that with us in Australia”.
But first she can be seen in Kerkrade (December 11) and Venray (December 21). On Friday, December
30. she also performs in Maasbracht, together with Brassband “Harmonie St. Caecilia Ohé en Laak”. The
tour will end on January 2, 2023 in Maastricht with special guests. Who they are remains a secret for now.
What she does want to reveal in advance: pianist Rob Mennen from Berg en Terblijt will accompany her
and in Maasbracht she will share the stage with Frank Steijns, violinist and carillonneur of Rieu's
orchestra. Enzo Kok (brother of Emma) from Kerkrade also makes an appearance during part of the tour.
Mirusia promises the audience a “sparkling performance with a diverse range of music”. And she will also
tell a lot about herself. She opens up herself, she says, and people will really get to know her. How? “As a
passionate person. Outgoing and funny. And don't forget: tenacious! “I will not settle for a 'no' for an
Mirusia Louwerse was born and raised in Australia,
but Dutch blood flows through her veins. Her
parents emigrated from Zeeland (NL) to Brisbane
in 1980, where she was born in the spring of 1985.
She started singing at the age of 14 and gained
stage experience during talent shows. She was
trained in classical singing at the Brisbane
Conservatory and became the youngest ever
participant to win the Joan Sutherland Opera
Award, a prestigious Australian music award. She
has often told about how she ended up with the
orchestra of André Rieu. "But it's too good not to
mention," she says. “She owes that to aunt Els
from Brabant (NL). My aunt had heard that André
Rieu was looking for a singer. Without my
knowledge, she sent him an email with the advice
to take a look at my website. A day later, the phone
rang at our home in Brisbane. André Rieu wanted
to see me. It was a complete surprise. I thought it
was a joke at first. But it really was him and he
asked if I could come to Maastricht. I did that that
same week. We immediately clicked and I flew
back to Australia with a contract in my pocket.”
To go back to Mirusia page 9,
(to see her tour schedule in the
Netherlands), click HERE.