Mirusia wins hearts with show From the Heart
Although many might know her as the 'angel of André Rieu', the Australian-Dutch soprano Mirusia Louwerse has been working very successfully on her solo career for a few years now. With her new album From the Heart and tour of the same name she touches many hearts. Her second last concert in Tiel, the Netherlands, is overwhelming and above all, full of love.
Text: Ninih Vang
It's a wonderful picture: a big heart that lights up the stage, musicians looking their best and big white letters that say "Mirusia". There's no doubt about who will be tonight's star. As soon as she enters the stage in a beautiful deep-blue dress and starts singing her theme song 'From the Heart', the audience is hooked. Her crystal-clear yet warm voice makes many hearts melt, and that's exactly her goal for this show. "From the Heart is a gift for each and everyone of you", she says, "because a gift should always come from the heart."
Mirusia didn't just pick any average musicians to accompany her show. One of her talented musicians is guitarist Martijn Buijnsters, who accompanies Mirusia on the song Romanza. Just the two of them performing the song makes it very intimate, like they're just sitting in a living room with the audience. Martijn's gentle guiter playing and Mirusia's soft toned voice melt together beautifully and for a moment they make me completely forget about the world. When the song is finished, there even is a brief moment of total silence before the audience rewards them with a thunderous applause. The guitarist also accompanies Mirusia on Colours of the Wind – known from the Disney movie Pocahontas – which he does fenomenally. It's not hard to see the resemblance between Mirusia and a Disney princess – a role which would fit her like a glove. Her angelic voice, blonde curly hair and sparkling eyes are well-matched with Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty.
Despite the fact that her show is almost fairy-like, it's not too sugary-sweet. Mirusia surprises the audience with a totally unexpected song: Who wants to live forever by Queen, from 1986. Written by Queen guitarist Brian May as a soundtrack for the movie Highlander. It's a bold move to make – not everyone successfully covers a Queen song – but Mirusia's version is beyond any expectation.
Mirusia's Dutch roots – both her parents are Dutch – don't go unnoticed during her show. Her own version of Als jij niet van mij houdt from Dutch artist Boudewijn de Groot, as well as Geef mij je angst from André Hazes, make the audience put their hands together and even dance a little bit. I'm all for a bit of sing-along, but I actually prefer to hear Mirusia singing by herself. Of course she doesn't forget about her Australian origin either. She makes the crowd promise to sing along with the Australian song Botany Bay, but that seems to be a bridge too far. The song Botany Bay dates back to 1885 and is about Sydney, which was the first place in Australia where the Brittish landed in 1770, during an expedition of James Cook.
Naturally her André Rieu classics are part of the show as well. Ave Maria from Schubert, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious from Mary Poppins and Con te partiro (Time to say goodbye); she sings them all. The Lithuanian violinist Giedré Mundinaité, who also plays in André Rieu's Johann Strauss Orchestra, as well as cello player Marije de Jong, see to it that the songs are enriched with the famous strings sound, which is so typical for maestro Rieu.
Among a number of special moments during the concert is the duet Mirusia sings together with one of her backing vocalists, the Australian Keiarn Chesebro. The young soprano is coached by Mirusia and has just released her first album This is me, which is produced by Mirusia as well. Together they sing The Flower Duet from the opera Lakmé van Léo Delibes, which makes many people in the audience grab their tissues to dry their tears. Two Australian angels are even more moving than one. Concerning the backing vocalists, the show definitely takes on an extra dimension with the talented Keiarn Chesebro and Imke Heitzer. Their presence is quite subtle, but there would definitely be something missing if they wouldn't take part in the show.
The other musicians may not go unnoticed either. Graeme Press – pianist and musical director, Rob Mennen on synthesizer, Roel Meessen on percussion and Justin van Uum on bass: they make the show such a successfull one. There's not one dull second, it's very personal and heart-warming, which leaves you no choice but to love Mirusia.