Amira Willighagen (born in Nijmegen, The Netherlands on March 27th 2004) demonstrated already at the age of 9 her operatic voice and her great singing talent. She participated in, and won the talent show Holland’s Got Talent 2013 (the Dutch version of America’s Got Talent), in The Netherlands broadcast by RTL. During her audition in the city of Zwolle, Amira already wowed the jury with her interpretation of the aria O mio babbino caro from Puccini’s opera Gianni Schicchi. On YouTube the video of that performance was viewed by the entire world and immediately drew a lot of national and international attention. Amira also attracted the attention of other musicians; After her audition she was contacted by the world-famous violinist and orchestra director André Rieu, who invited her to follow a master class, for which she traveled to London.
During the semi-finals of Holland’s Got Talent Amira interpreted the Ave Maria composed by J.S. Bach / Charles Gounod, which resulted in reaching the finals. During these finals Amira won -with more than 50% of the votes of the TV-viewers and audience- by performing Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s final opera Turandot.
In the spring holiday of 2014, the Starlight Classics Concerts at the Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset-West (near Cape Town in South-Africa) is Amira’s first international performance. She donated half of her revenue to her very own charity project, from which the first playground was built for children in the township of Ikageng, which is close to Potchefstroom -where her relatives from mother’s side origintate from. Later that year, Amira’s very own charity organization, the Gelukskinders foundation, is established in order to further support her charity work.
On March 22nd 2014, Amira’s debut album Amira is released and hardly after three weeks, Amira receives a Golden Record for selling the first 10,000 copies. In the summer of 2015, Amira records her second album, entitled Merry Christmas, which is released on November 21st of that year.
Amira has been performing in countless countries, among which the USA, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, France, Hong Kong, Argentina, Malta, Monaco, South Africa, Iceland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium and others. During performances Amira regularly works together with national and international celebrities such as British tenor Paul Potts, Dutch violinist and conductor André Rieu, Icelandic tenor Gissur Páll Gissurarson, South Africa’s winner of SA’s Got Talent 2010 James Bhemgee, prominent South African singers Jannie Moolman, Corlea Botha, the Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Italian singer/entertainer Patrizio Buanne.
Behind the scenes Amira is working hard to extend her repertoire, professionally supervised by her singing coach. With her repertoire extending and her voice becoming richer each day, Amira embraces many new songs which are not neccessarily arias. During 2017, she also works on her forthcoming 3rd album, which is being recorded and produced in South Africa.
Besides singing, Amira likes sports, animals and writing. Her favourite animals are tortoises.