Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Amira Willighagen - documentary Omroep Gelderland Dec 2016 with English subtitles

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It's weird people think I can sing very well because I... yeah I just sing.

And I don't know how people feel when I sing.

I was 7 years old when I wanted to go to HGT but my mother thought I was too young.

When I was 8 I asked again and my mother said: "When you're 9 the world is at your feet..."

...and that was indeed the case.

Amira Willighagen, is that correct? ..Yes. How old are you? I am 9 years old.

So!.. And what are you going to do? I am going to sing a song. O mio babbino caro.

At the first note, when I started singing, uhm.. everyone's mouth fell wide open...

...and Gordon stood up and that was weird because I thought: "Is it THAT beautiful?"

I was actually last on the podium...

...but it was broadcast as if I was first.

When I was on the podium, I saw alot of people, and I saw my girlfriends and family...

...somewhere at the stands, and they had a big banner with: Go Amira Go

...And the jury behind such a big table with crosses on it.

I'm not quite sure why people cry during my music.

Maybe they think of something nice when I sing.

They all stood up and applauded and cheered and whistled and...

...yeah, I never have had such a big applause.

I was just a little girl that wanted to get on tv and nothing else.

And I would never have thought it would then become this big.

Now I am 12 years old

I have thought about it but I can barely even remember my life before HGT

I find myself just normal.

Well, everyone is unique in their own way but I don't think I am unique-er or something.

The day after the recordings there already came camera people, phone calls, uhmm...

...alot of people calling me for performances and that is pretty weird, like...

"We would like to interview you on this and this date" or "We want to come film at your home..."

...or "We want this and we want that" and on the street I cannot just walk straight on

My mother comes from South Africa.

She came to The Netherlands to marry my father.

She still has an accent.

In South African you pronounce the E as eyuh, the A as aww and the O as oowuh.

Yes my mother likes to cook. Something she makes curious things like fat cookies.

That is something typically South African, dough with something in it.

Mom where are the little tomatoes?

She is a bit of a chaotic mother, ..if there is something up then I usually only tell her.

My brothers name is Fincent and he is 14 years old.

Usually Fincent and I help out.

He is pretty busy and he loves Minecraft, so he plays with his phone pretty often.

And he studies really hard because he goes to secondary school at the highest level.

So he is a bit of an egghead.

My father's name is Gerrit, a laid back father.

He works at a company that repairs computers and chips and stuff and he gets home at 7:30 in the evening.

When I jump on the trampoline and I float in the air it's the most beautiful feeling.

That's the same feeling I get when I sing.

When I sing I have a funny feeling in my stomach because I like to sing.

Yeah, then it feels as if I'm flying and then I suddenly fly to a different world and stuff.

Yes, my brother helps me with singing, he looks up the words...

..writes the English translation on paper.

If it is in Italian he also doesn't know the meaning but he then usually uses Google translate.

Yes, this is the one.

I think 'sempre' means: always.

And 'con' probably means: with.

Yes, usually we do it together.

I haven't really been raised with modern music

When I was in my mother's belly I also only heard classical music.

My mother played the violin...

...and my father always played piano, accordion or the organ.

So I haven't heard much Pop music...

...in my baby childhood.

You need to sing also! Yes, but you sing so softly.

When we are on the road we sometimes play 80's music...

...and then we chant with it for a bit of laughs.

Can't we do that one by Bruce Springsteen?

No pleaaaase No.

I sing opera because I think it's beautiful music...

...and because I don't really like certain pop songs...

...and maybe even a bit screamy.

I like it because it is calm music, not too wild and because it has nice high notes.

I haven't had lessons for about 4 months.

I did have lessons but that lady said opera was too taxing for my vocal chords...

...and that I should sing something else.

She started recommending all kinds of musical songs and then I just quit.

We then searched a very long time for a new teacher and we finally found her.

I will see her today and that will be my first lesson.

Lets look at the texts: What a nice folder, wow, sacred arias.

Panis Angelicus, nice. look at that! You do that one in 'G' I think, right?

We have to find out for each aria in which key you sing the most comfortable.

Sing who you are, thats the most important.

Stay loyal to your instrument. That's what it's all about.

You mean this one right?

While you breathe in, the A from Ave already comes inside.

Just try it.

Ok, ok. Another try.

Where-abouts are they do you think?

No, a bit lower, feel it.

Really relaxed , loose jaw.

Yes!, those are your vocal chords.

Unbelievably nicely done!! Did you feel the difference?

My technique isn't the best. For me it's about the feeling...

..when I sing not that every note is perfect and stuff.

That is really my strong point.

It really is a little talent, she is just so pure.

She will now hit puberty and become a woman in her voice.

That also all has an impact.

Yes, I'm very curious how she will develop.

In The Netherlands I just get a big applause.

In Italy they go crazy and run to me and give me roses and stuff.

In Hong Kong they clap really politely

In America they just cheer very loudly.

Las Vegas, South Africa, Iceland, France, London, uhm. Argentina.

For example people tell me: "You have such a beautiful voice, the heavens open up when you sing."

When I was 9, I only thought about nice dresses and everything was about fun...

...now I'm a starting to think a bit more seriously about later...

...how it would feel not to perform for an entire year.

That would be really weird. I dunno, I just, really got used to this all.

Only 100 pieces available, signed by Amira.

Fans do expect things.

Suddenly a guy from Australia was at my doorstep. Also someone from Spain and England.

And they wanted to admire me and give me presents and stuff...

..and questionnaires they wanted to be answered...

...what my favourite colour is and why I love turtles...

...and why I started singing and why I like singing and where I performed and will perform.

I don't know why people want something from me.

It probably is something that is just part of it but sometimes it's a bit wearing.

I watch all your concerts. I like it so much!!

Do you want to write at the top: For Adrinelle

Ok.

Hey little animal. Everything ok? Everything ok?

We're going to arrest the culprit because there's been a murder in Bikini Bottom.

I could play a bit less but I try to make as much time for it as possible.

We know you are the culprit. Will you take her to prison?

I want to stay a kid for a bit.

At the beginning no one knew me at my new school.

So I thought I was fortunate because I didn't want anyone to recognize me...

...because I wanted them to see me as a normal girl.

Then one girl asked if I was Amira from HGT. I said yes and then she told everyone.

Everyone now already knows.

I'm not ashamed to be famous but I notice if they know they act completely differently.

Because then they suddenly act really nice and different than before.

Not everyone, of course, but most of them anyway.

I think in the future, I'm not sure yet, I will be a real singer...

...or if that doesn't work out an advocate studying in South Africa...

...having a regular job and not singing anymore.

If I only focus on singing and later I'm maybe not special enough anymore...

...then I only have my voice but no job.

Then I have to, I dunno, perhaps work in a pizzeria.

I don't have to make all the choices now already.

Sometimes I sing in the shower because of great acoustics

It reverberates nicely.

I think I got my talent from my mother's family.

My mother's brother and father, my granddad, they also sang opera.

These ones are from grand dad, let me show you dear.

This is grand dad, This is your mom's mom.

Here I am, and my father.

Grand dad sang like you. Serious songs.

He sang serious arias. Music really is part of the family.

My mother and her sisters played opera. I hated it as a child.

I hated it so much I didn't even like it as an adult until she started singing it.

I didn't know anything about it even though I have a classical upbringing...

...because as a child I used to wear earplugs when Pavarotti played.

This morning I was still at school and now i'm flying to Poland...

...to perform for someone who received a peace prize together with other artists and orchestra.

I am going with my mother. We switch between mom and dad.

We shop for souvenirs in other countries.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Yes it's fun but it's also strange to get flown to Poland to sing just 1 song.

Usually when I travel there is some type of van or car that brings me to places.

Once it was a limousine. That was in Las Vegas.

Today I'm going to perform.

All my classmates are at school. I do have to do homework and send it

School has given me these days off but if I fail all tests I'm sure they'll intervene.

Since I'm singing I visited all continents except Oceania.

I have never been to Poland.

It lies between Germany and Russia. Yes, I had to check where it was located.

We went sightseeing and we visited some buildings that survived the war...

...and some churches and one castle

I burnt a candle in the church.

Uhm, yes, I did that for my cat.

I can't reach it. What gives you the idea I can?

What is the plural of: He

Illuh.. No.. Illuh, illes

Il for him but then with an S after it. Ils. Thats what I said!!

You plural? Uhm.. Vous. Nous nous.

No, we is nous.

They asked in a group app where I was and I admitted I was Poland for a performance...

...but I try to tell as little as possible because I don't want people to think...

...I'm a diva or some sort of show-off, like owwwww I'm going to Poland now.

I don't know why but I don't think it's necessary to be nervous.

She hasn't done a proper warm-up but she's headstrong.

Happens more often that I get directions during rehearsal from the conductor or my mother.

I don't mind that at all.

Same breathing as with Andr Rieu

My last breathing was good so then you should not meddle with that.

No but I need to understand it dear.

Oh, I know that song.

For a performance I have to adjust a bit in different countries...

...but I always stay true to myself.

Sometimes there is make-up and hair styling thingies.

This time my mother does it and she is really good at it.

Some other colours will be added to soften it a bit.

The performance itself is not tiresome but I need to charge myself up for it.

Yes, I'm petty focused then at that moment.

When I have to perform I have to act a bit more serious because...

...all those people expect that I will sing properly and stuff.

I'm not quite certain.

Now I want to sing but i'm not sure if that is still the case in the future.

Sometimes I wonder if I should take it easier.

But I don't think I will stop singing that easily.

Tomorrow I'm back in class as if nothing has happened.

The Description of Amira Willighagen - documentary Omroep Gelderland Dec 2016 with English subtitles