For her audition on the TV show "Holland's Got Talent," nine-year-old Amira Willighagen sang Puccini's O mio babbino caro from Gianni Schicchi and went on to win the competition with Nessun dorma! from Turandot, stunning listeners with her remarkably outsized and expressive voice. Her debut album for Sony Masterworks, Amira, includes these arias and offers eight other selections, including Mozart's Voi che sapete from Le nozze di Figaro, the Gounod-Bach Ave Maria, Handel's Ombra mai fu from Serse, and Orff's In trutina from Carmina Burana. Self-taught by singing along with YouTube videos, she has since received professional training, and it shows in her improved breath control and the steadiness of her tone, which makes her voice pleasant to hear and her high notes surprisingly pure and compelling. This is a promising start for Willighagen's career, and with the proper guidance and care of her voice, this should be the first of many appealing albums.
by Blair Sanderson
|Le Nozze di Figaro|