Heaven sent: Busy return home for Andre Rieu’s Angel of Australia

As Andre Rieu’s leading lady she was known as The Angel of Australia but nowadays soprano Mirusia Louwerse is happy going solo and even happier to be back home

Apr 11, 2024, updated Apr 11, 2024
Mirusia Louwerse is the headline act this year at Rotary Opera in the Gardens.

Mirusia Louwerse is the headline act this year at Rotary Opera in the Gardens.

Does Mirusia Louwerse miss her career as a superstar in Europe? For a decade the Australian soprano with Dutch heritage was leading lady for Andre Rieu’s shows, travelling the world and doing star turns in his massive musical extravaganza’s in the Netherlands and elsewhere.

She was dubbed The Angel of Australia for a very good reason – her voice is heavenly and her performances divine.

But the artist known simply as Mirusia came home before the pandemic and is now busier than ever. So, as much as she loved her career with Andre Rieu, she’s happy doing what she’s doing now.

“I am very busy,” Mirusia says. “I’m doing everything I was doing before. I’m just doing it in Australia.”

She’s a solo act but collaborates widely and in recent years has filled in for the late Judith Durham with The Seekers, which she counts as one of her greatest honours.

It was Andre Rieu who actually suggested she strike out with a solo career because the time was right. He was on the money. So Mirusia and husband Youri Wystyrk came home and now they live at Cleveland with six-year-old daughter Sascha.

This is good news for us because we get to see more of her and on April 28 she will headline the popular Rotary Opera in The Gardens at Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. The audience will be treated to powerhouse performances of opera, operate and Broadway favourites from Mirusia’s new album, Classique, released in February.

The concert will also feature songs from such classics as The Magic Flute, The Tales of Hoffman, The Pearl Fishers, La Traviata, Carmen, The Merry Widow, The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, The Sound of Music, The Pirates of the Penzance and more.

Mirusia will be joined on stage by Queensland baritone Lionel Theunissen, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Bradbury and former Ten Tenor Roger Davy, whose company Vavachi Entertainment organizes the event. Working with Davy takes Mirusia back to her student days at Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University.

“I did as few events with Roger before I had graduated from The Con and when he asked me if I would headline Rotary Opera in The Gardens I said yes, that’s lovely,” Mirusia says.

The day we speak on the phone she is in Stanthorpe and has just headlined A Night at The Proms With Mirusia. She says travelling around and performing is fun and she will be going on the road nationally in July with her concert series Mirusia: Classique Live in Concert, on the strength of Classique, her 12th album.  

This new album, her first fully classical recording, was launched at the Redland Performing Arts Centre in Cleveland, which is Mirusia’s local. She grew up in Brisbane on the bayside and is thrilled to be living back there en famille.

“We bought our dream home at Cleveland,” Mirusia says, “We love it. It’s a great place to bring up kids. I can be based anywhere, really.”

Husband Youri works as a stadium executive at Kayo Stadium at Redcliffe and the couple are now diehard Dolphins fans. “Phins up,” she says as proof of that.

For those who loved her as the star soprano of Andre Rieu’s global concert spectaculars, Rotary Opera in the Gardens is a great opportunity to see The Angel of Australia in person.

She promises she will be doing some favourites (she has mastered the art of crossover from opera to musical theatre tunes) including her popular version of Schubert’s Ave Maria.

“That is my number one viral hit on YouTube,” Mirusia says. “It has had 70 million views and another 70 million on Facebook. It is the number one song played at funerals in Belgium and number three in the Netherlands.”

She pauses for effect and then adds: “People are dying to hear it.”

Which shows as well as being angelic she has a wicked sense of humour.

Rotary Opera in the Gardens, April 28, 2pm-4pm, Brisbane Botanic Gardens Mt Coot-tha. Proceeds support various Rotary charities along with Drug ARM’s Street Outreach Services.

This article is republished from InReview under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

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