Irene de Raadt is a performing and teaching artist from the Netherlands. Besides this, she but has a degree in psychology and business administration. As a trained classical singer, she shared the stage with many international super stars, among which with none less than Andrea Bocelli.
Irene performs as a solo singer in the crossover field (classic meets pop) as well as with a pianist (f.e. Dirk Balthaus), orchestra (Hever Philharmonic Show Orchestra) or orchestral tapes. Irene studied voice at the Conservatory of Amsterdam and the Conservatory of Alkmaar. Irene therefor sings classical songs, crossover, as well as pop and jazz and is also specialized in Italian and French (pop-) music.
On a part time basis, Irene has for years been the coach of professional and talented amateur singers and beginning and intermediate pianists.
She recorded a duet with the fantastic singer Andrea Bocelli, who she met on several occassions.
She is currently in the process of producing two debut albums, a classical/Italian crossover album and a personal album which features many of her favourite songs, and artist friends who accompany her on piano, violin, harp and guitar. The latter album will be more “easy listening-style”.
Irene de Raadt is a singer with a wide repertoire. With her flexible and versatile background and voice she sings a wide variety of styles. As a classically trained soprano with a range of three octaves she sings from classical to pop and musical, the so-called “crossover” repertoire, and brings atmospheric mini concerts in beautiful costumes. In addition, she performs at during dinners in small settings with feelgood jazz pop ballads, where she is accompanied by top-pianists.
The passion for singing …
Born into a musical family (Irene’s father was a jazz pianist, cousins work at the Vienna State Opera), Irene took her first piano lessons and general music education at the music school at the age of six. Her enthusiasm for singing did not go unnoticed in the church choir and school musicals. After graduating high school she studied business administration at the Hotelschool The Hague and psychology at the University of Amsterdam. During these trials, Irene was already seen in student cabaret, as a singer in various student bands of the University of Amsterdam. In 1992 she sang at Walt Disney World in the United States for tens of thousands of spectators playing the roles of (a.o.) Belle in musical adaptations of the eponymous Walt Disney films. In 1995, Irene sang the lead role in a dinner show in Barcelona, Spain.
After her two “responsible” studies she worked for two years as a successful Terminal Supervisor at KLM. But her passion for singing made her follow her heart, studying pop/jazzsinging at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. At night she worked at Opera Restaurant Pasta e Basta. It was there that her love for classical music began to speak again and she decided to also follow a classical vocal study. From that time she decided to follow her own musical path and to do and sing what her heart felt: both light classical (crossover) as pop and jazz singing.
“The song “Summertime” is an example of the fact that it is simply impossible, to put music into boxes. Indeed, it is a jazz song, comes from a musical, but the original cast sings it the classical way and completely in head voice…”
Irene graduated summa cum laude (with honours) for the State exam Soprano and soon played many leading roles in theater productions, including the role of Maria in The West Side Story. She has also played the lead part in the musical “Wilkommen auf Schloss Waldstein” in a special opportunity formation consisting of famous opera, jazz, pop, rock and musical singers.
About her performance in this production “Bühne” wrote:
“… Irene de Raadt surprised everyone with her beautiful classical songs, but also seamingly effortless gives an intimate jazz interpretation. This is one of the few singers in the Netherlands, which really can be called allround. “
Not long after Irene sang a duet with bariton Hannes Lichtenberger of the Vienna State Opera. In opera restaurant Pasta e Basta Irene sang with musical star Tony Neef, and gave several guest appearances with the band “Alderliefste”.
During the one year anniversary of Pasta e Basta, she even got a compliment from Andrea Bocelli, who was a guest in the restaurant that evening! This would lead to the highlight ten years later: a musical encounter with this charming, fantastic star. Famous singers Sting and Eros Ramazzotti, and food critic Johannes van Dam, both guests at Pasta e Basta, indicated that they were charmed by her voice. As icing on the cake Irene sang for HRH Prince Willem-Alexander, during a private dinner, along with two fellow singers of Pasta e Basta.
Gradually, Irene was asked more and more to sing at wedding ceremonies and business events, for example Stibbe Notaries, the farewell dinner of the former director of the VPRO, at the presentation of the Advertising Woman and Man of the Year award at the State-of-the- Art Congress in Theater Panama, during the Italian days of Alfa Romeo, and opened the Maritime Fair in the RAI. Furthermore, she is often engaged for performances in charming hotels, including Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin and fairytale castles such as Castle Engelenburg, Zeist Castle, and Castle de Haar.
Because of her much-traveled past Irene speaks Dutch fluently besides English, Spanish, French, German, Spanish and Italian, which in her singing also came in handy.
Irene also acted in the Gelredome, where she sang at the Philips Ameezing Concert for 18,000 people and together with Do, Lois Lane, Willeke Alberti, Henk Westbroek, Intwine, Lange Frans, Bastiaan Ragas and Tooske Ragas brought a medley of famous pop and musical songs.
Inspired by Pavarotti & Friends … Incanto: a duet program à la Pavarotti & Friends! Together with a tenor or bariton, Irene brings a dazzling vocal show with famous pop songs, beautiful arias and duets from musicals to famous operas!
In addition, there have been several appearances with various well-known artists, such as during a birthday party with Trijntje Oosterhuis and Hans Dulfer. Peak were also a number of galas, including the Grand Hotel Huis ter Duin, the magnificent building of “Literaire Sociéteit de Witte” in The Hague, during a large gala at the International Polo World Cup, and most recently at the International Concours Hippique in Valkenswaard, visited by HRH Prince Albert of Monaco. On these occassions, Irene was musically supported at all these occassions by the Belgian Heverband, a large orchestra under the direction of Jan Ceulemans. In Germany, they performed together once again at the Maritim Hotel, where Irene not only made her vocal contribution, accompanied by the orchestra, but also was in charge of the presentation of this gala.
It was in 1996 that Irene had a meeting with none other than Andrea Bocelli. Now you can listen to the duet “Ama Credi E Vai”. An appearance in “Teatro del Silenzio” in Andrea’s hometown Lajatico always had been Irene’s big dream. “Lajatico è” is a foundation of which Mr. Bocelli is the chairman. It organised five annual summer concerts in a row in Lajatico, Andrea’s birth town in the sunny hills of Tuscany. Irene was present at the concert in 2009! See also media.
Besides the crossover performances, Irene sings a lot of jazz and feelgood ballads with a pianist on more intimate occassions.