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10-Year-Old Singer Amira Willighagen of ‘Holland’s Got Talent’ Releases Debut Album of Opera Arias on Simon Cowell's Label

By Louise Burton l.burton@classicalite.com on Apr 03, 2014 12:48 PM EDT
Classicalite Recording News: Child Singer Amira Releases Her First Album of Opera Arias Amira Willighagen, who won 'Holland's Got Talent' in December, has released her first album of opera arias. (Photo : Facebook)

Amira Willighagen received a particularly exciting gift for her 10th birthday last week: a copy of her first album, titled simply Amira.

Her album includes the two Puccini arias she sang to win Holland's Got Talent in December, "O Mio Babbino Caro" and "Nessun Dorma," as well as nine other songs including "Ave Maria."

Amira recorded the album in England on the Syco label for Sony Music Entertainment. Syco is the label of star-maker Simon Cowell, who gave the world America's Got Talent and all of its amazingly tacky spinoffs in other countries.

Amira's album is currently available for download only in Holland. In the U.S., her CD will be available on Amazon.com come April 8.

Until then, here is a video of Amira singing "O Mio Babbino Caro" during her recent appearance on "The Complimentary Breakfast" show on JacarandaFM in South Africa.

As a child singer, Amira has frequently been compared with star crossover artist Jackie Evancho. For her first album, Amira chose several of the same songs that Jackie recorded on her first full-length studio album Dream With Me (2011), including "O Mio Babbino Caro" and "Nessun Dorma."

Here's Jackie's recording of "O Mio Babbino Caro" from Dream With Me, made when she, herself, was 10 years old.

Amira initially recorded "Nessun Dorma" for her album as a dub-over duet with a recording of Luciano Pavarotti's voice. Arts commentator Norman Lebrecht reported that the Pavarotti estate strongly objected to the unauthorized use of Pavarotti's recording of the aria.

Thankfully, Syco said they would not release Amira's duet with the late Italian opera star on Amira's CD. Amira has a lovely voice, but it will be years before she is ready to be compared with Pavarotti, the acknowledged "King of the High Cs."

But the duet still exists on YouTube, where it is likely to last forever in one form or another.

Amira's fans in America will be delighted to know she is coming to the U.S. in May for a performance in Las Vegas. The upcoming concert is her prize for winning Holland's Got Talent in December.

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TagsAmira, Amira Willighagen, Holland's Got Talent, Puccini, O Mio Babbino Caro, Nessun Dorma, Jackie Evancho, Dream with Me, Luciano Pavarotti, Simon Cowell, America's Got Talent, Syco