In 2015 Annelies Kruidenier performed Sia’s Chandelier on BBC’s The Voice where her audition is still one of the most viewed on YouTube, currently sitting at over three million. Since performing on the show, Annelies was given the chance to perform the National Anthem at the Six Nations Championship at Twickenham and the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley. Later this year, Annelies will be the lead role in pantomime in the Stockport Plaza running from 30th November until 6th January. Before heading back home for her Birthday celebrations, we caught up with Annelies about starring in this year’s pantomime, her Twickenham and Wembley performances and her hopes for 2019.
When did you start acting and what roles have you previously done?
I’ve been acting as long as I can remember. I started off in Stagecoach when I was really young, I’ve been dancing, acting and singing since I was three and a half. I did drama in high school and at A Level, then I went to the London College of Music and I did musical theatre there. I never really thought acting was my strong suit until I came to college and they said to me, “you’re quite good at this”, I was like nah, I’m just a singer! I’ve now really taken on acting as another string to my bow, and I really enjoy it.
Have you always performed opera and how did you get into this style of music?
I was classically trained, my old singing teacher, who is opera singer Dennis O’Neill’s sister, actually saw me sing in a competition. I used to just sing pop songs all the time, and she said that there was an element there and they’d like to bring it out, and the next thing I know I was singing arias, and singing in Italian and being trained classically. My voice has completely changed now, I hit twenty-one and my voice went lower and now all of a sudden I’m strictly musical theatre. The opera has really helped to bring a lot of power behind my voice, it’s really good to have that classical training behind you, it’s like a backbone for anything I think, I’d definitely go back into opera but maybe I’d have to be an alto rather than a soprano now haha!
Are there any plans to release an EP or album?
I had an EP out four years ago, just before I sang at the Six Nations, it was available to buy on Amazon and iTunes. I worked with Steve Balsamo, he was the first Jesus Christ Superstar, he co-wrote the album with me, he’s amazing. If in the future my career takes off with musical theatre, I’d love to have an EP out again, being in the studio is amazing, it’s just such a good thing to learn, the hours are so long, people think you go in, sing a couple of songs, but it isn’t quite like that!
Who would you most like to duet with?
This is a tricky one, I love Aaron Tveit, I think he’s amazing, he’s doing Moulin Rouge at the moment, he’s done so many shows, he’s absolutely fantastic. In terms of girls, I’m actually lucky enough to have two best friends that are really successful in what they do, Lucie Jones and Sophie Evans, Sophie’s in Wicked now, she’s playing Glinda, I’d love to be able to sing on stage with two of my best friends, that would be really nice, they inspire me every day.
Do you have a favourite song to perform?
Yes, bit of a guilty pleasure but anything from Wicked, I love singing No Good Deed because it really showcases this new style of my voice that I didn’t know I had – this belt quality which I’ve been working on over the last couple of years.
What was it like supporting Rhydian on his 2014 UK tour and do you have any other music tours planned?
That was actually really good fun. I knew Rhydian through a family friend, he’d seen my videos and he asked me, I was able to duet with him so it was a really good experience. I was so young at the time, I was seventeen and we were touring around the UK, it was hard, but it was a really good task for me, I’d love to tour again to be honest. Rhydian’s lovely, he’s a really great guy and a fellow Welshman, we all stick together you’ll notice hahaha!
How was it performing for the Six Nations and the Premiership League Playoff at Wembley?
The Six Nations was, and will always be, the best day of my life. As a kid I always said that I wanted to sing in the Millennium Stadium, I wanted to sing for my country and I wanted to sing the Welsh National Anthem. It wasn’t at the Millennium Stadium but I remember getting the call in September asking if I would like to go and sing at the Six Nations. I thought it was one of my friends, I was like, “come on now, this isn’t funny, you know this is my dream!” but it was all true. I sang at Twickenham, it was amazing, I got to meet the Royal Family, and I’d love to do that again.
I’d done a couple of league playoffs and then I did the Capital One Cup final at Wembley which was Man City and Liverpool, my stepdad’s a massive Liverpool fan so that was really good fun. There’s a completely different crowd between football and rugby, the atmosphere is electric, I love singing in the stadiums there’s nothing quite like it.
Would you change anything about your time on The Voice?
I would have liked to have been a bit older, I was nineteen at the time and I was at a stage in my life where I was trying to stay away from classical music, so we went for this spin on pop-classical which didn’t work in my favour. I think I learnt a lot though, but I wish I would have been a bit older and a bit more headstrong in knowing what I wanted to do like I do now, and then going for it with that sheer confidence that I have now within my own voice, but that just comes with age.
How did you find the experience?
The experience was a learning curve for me, I met some amazing people, I worked with an amazing vocal coach, Yvie Burnett and I learnt a lot. I met Sir Tom Jones, will.i.am, Rita Ora and Ricky Wilson, it was amazing. If anything, it gave me good press, it really put me out there on the map, I was getting auditions left right and centre for loads of different things in the West End. I realised that maybe this is what I want to do, if it wasn’t for The Voice I don’t think I would be where I am now, so I’m grateful for that.
What was the media response like to your audition?
Really good, there was a lot of controversy behind it, I’m still one of the most top-rated views of the whole of BBC The Voice, I’m still in the top ten, I’ve had over three million views now. I still get people messaging me via Instagram or Twitter, at least two or three times a week telling me that they’ve seen my performance and that they’re shocked that I didn’t get through. If you watch the episode you’ll see that the judges themselves were like, “what have we done?”, Tom Jones was crying, Ricky walked me out to my family and he said it was a disgrace. I never had any bad press or anything from that, I was really chuffed with how that turned in my favour to be honest.
Where will you be performing in pantomime this year and who will you be playing?
I’ll be performing in Sleeping Beauty this year in the Stockport Plaza which is just outside of Manchester, I’ll be playing the title role of Sleeping Beauty which I’m over the moon about, I’m so so excited.
When do rehearsals start?
Rehearsals start end of November, so not long now. I’ve got to move to Manchester which is exciting.
Who will you be starring alongside?
I’ll be starring alongside Claire King and Ted Robbins. Claire King has been on Emmerdale and Coronation Street, and she was in Bad Girls, and Ted is a comedian, he’s absolutely hilarious. When we met at the press launch I knew I couldn’t wait to work with these guys, they’re going to be fab.
What are you most looking forward to for appearing in the pantomime?
When you meet people in your life, you learn so much. These people have been working for years and years and I’ve just graduated, they’ve been in pantomime for years and I’ve never done a pantomime. I’m so grateful that they’ve actually taken me on and I just can’t wait to learn things off them that will help me in my career.
It’s going to be long, it will be six days a week, I can’t wait to build up my stamina and know what that’s like. I know it’s three months till Christmas but I’m like, can we start the pantomime now?! I just want to do it.
What do you hope 2019 brings to your career?
I know there are a lot of musicals coming over from Broadway – we’ve got Waitress coming over, Anastasia, Mean Girls, Dear Evan Hansen… I really hope next year brings me somewhere in town in the West End, after just graduating that would be ideal. I’d love to be a lead in a musical coming over here, so I think I’d better put my head down and get practising for these auditions!
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