Amira Willighagen is a girl living in the City of Nijmegen, in the eastern part of The Netherlands, and was born on 27 March 2004.
In 2013, Amira acquired worldwide fame when she performed opera songs as participant of Holland’s Got Talent. Her audition with the aria “O Mio Babbino Caro” from the Gianni Schicchi opera, composed by Giacomo Puccini, went viral on YouTube and got viewed over 20 million times in a short period of time, by viewers from countries all over the world.
During the semi-finals and finals of Holland’s Got Talent, Amira respectively sang Charles Gounod’s version of “Ave Maria” and “Nessun Dorma” from the opera Turandot, composed by Puccini.
On 28 December 2013, during the finals of Holland’s Got Talent, Amira received well in excess of 50% of all public votes and won a trip to Las Vegas.
Normal Life —- Cleaning the Cat’s Box
Whilst Amira became a celebrity overnight, she said her life hasn’t really changed all that much. Amira considers her fame just a little bonus to her life.
Back home, life largely continues to be the way it was before. Amira still has to clean the cat’s box on a regular basis. Amira is still going to school, playing outside with her brother Fincent & her other friends, and sporting.
And if Amira would eventually decide not to go for a career as a professional singer, she said she also considers working in a shop, or to become a nurse or an interviewer, participate in the Olympic Games as an athlete, or something completely different.
Social Projects —- Amira’s Dream to Help Others
In 2011, at the age of seven, Amira visited Township Ikageng near Johannesburg, during a visit to her grandmother from her mother’s side, who comes originally from South Africa. Since then, one of Amira’s first concrete ideas was to realize a playground for the less forunate children in Ikageng if she would ever get the opportunity.
In March 2014, Amira could effectively start to realize her dream of helping others, and donated a playground from her first earnings of a concert in South Africa. Amira wants to continue using parts of the earnings from her Debut Album CD and Concerts for Social Projects in the future.
Sports —- Athletics, Gymnastics & Running
Amira’s favorite sports are athletics, gymnastics and running. Amongst others, Amira has won the Zevenheuvelenloop (in her age group) both in 2012 as well as 2013, and in January 2014 she won the Leemkuil Crosswalk.
Debut Album CD —- Amira
On 28 March 2014, Amira officially released her Debut Album CD in the Netherlands. Amira recorded her CD in England on 15 & 16 February 2014, and taught herself seven new opera arias in a period of just five weeks, very well supported by her new vocal coach Maike van der Wiel, who joined Amira for the CD Project.
In the Netherlands, the first country in which Amira’s Debut Album CD was officially released, Amira’s CD Debut immediately jumped to the number one position in the music charts, making Amira the youngest person ever on top of the list in the Netherlands. Amira already received her first Gold Record Award on 14 April 2014.
Amira’s Mascot —- Turtle Schilpaddie
Ever since her first appearance on TV, Amira is accompanied by her mascot, named “Schilpaddie” (Amira’s Dutch pet name for her green turtle).
Wherever Amira goes, Schilpaddie immediately follows, without exception 😉