Media previews and reviews and fan reviews of Il Divo's concert at Boston, Massachusetts, (especially those mentioning Hayley!) should be posted in this thread, together with any follow-up comments.
Matters not relating to this concert should be discussed in a more suitable thread or board. If something in here prompted it, you can either quote an extract from it in the new post, or add a clickable link back to here where it started.
Seriously off topic posts are likely to be edited or moved by the forum staff - even if the posts started off on-topic.
Odyssey’ brings teen singer to Boston By Robert Nesti Thursday, February 2, 2006
New Zealand teen Hayley Westenra burst onto the international music scene three years ago with “Pure,” a CD that placed in the Top 10 of both British classical and pop charts - and made her a sensation in Japan, where her version of “Amazing Grace” became a No. 1 single.
Now 18, the ethereal-voiced singer is back with a new CD, “Odyssey,” and the choice opening spotwith crossover group Il Divo on a tour that comes to the Wang Theatre tonight.
Like this British quartet of singers (the brainchild of Simon Cowell of “American Idol”), Westenra fits neatly in this new music genre that merges classical styles with pop - and which has its roots in the concerts of the Three Tenors and tenor Andrea Bocelli.
It was, in fact, Bocelli who was a huge influence on Westenra when she first started singing in the streets in her hometown of Christchurch at age 11.
“He introduced me to the idea that you can combine classical and pop,” the singer explained from New Zealand. “I used to sing a lot of his music and I never really thought too hard of the style I wanted to create for myself. I just sang songs I liked the sound of, and they fell into the classical-crossover genre.”
Comparisons to another crossover artist, Charlotte Church, are inevitable. But unlike that diva-ish British singer, Westenra is more likely to be found in her hotel room after a performance than socializing.
“I’ve missed out on a lot of partying, but I don’t really miss it,” she said. “I have no cravings for that lifestyle. I’m keen to being disciplined. The first few years of your career, when you are setting yourself up as an artist, you have to put your heart and soul into it.”
Nor is dating an option: “It’s hard when you’re traveling so much, and you’re not in one place for a decent amount of time. You meet someone, and you have to say, well, I’m off tomorrow to, say, Boston, and I won’t be back for six months. That kind of kills it.”
Hayley Westenra and Il Divo perform at the Wang Theatre tonight at 7:30. Tickets: $49.50-$75; www. wangcenter.org or 800-447-7400.
I'm new to this forum. I don't normally join forums or post opinions online, but I needed to tell people who actually know who Hayley is what a great show it was. I saw the Boston show on Feb 2nd. She was fantastic. I know people went to see Il Divo, but they were definitely impressed by her. She was not introduced by anyone. They did not have any signs up saying she was also performing and none of her merchandise was for sale. She introduced herself after the first song and that was the only time you heard her name. I talked to people sitting around me during the intermission and they all wanted to know who she was. I told them about her, about her CD's and what her name is, so she now has some new fans who will be buying her CD's.
I brought paper and a pencil with me.
Here is the set list.
1. She Moves Through The Fair. 2. Never Saw Blue. 3. Amazing Grace. 4. The Mummer's Dance. 5. May It Be. 6. Both Sides Now. 7. From A Distance. 8. Pokarekare Ana. 9. [You Were Water]
Someone help me with the last song. I'm think I have heard it before. I don't know the name. "You were water" was the phrase I remember being repeated.
Hayley had a very relaxed stage presence. She looked very comfortable and her outfit was very pretty. I had a great time and just sat there thinking 'WOW THAT WAS AWESOME' after every song. I wish I had known that the Wang Center was allowing photography. I was in the third row, last seat on the right. I would have been able to get some great pictures. Oh well, lesson learned. They were also allowing people to go up to the stage to give all the Il Divo performers flowers. If I had known this I would have brought her some.
I ... sat there thinking 'WOW THAT WAS AWESOME' after every song.
I know exactly how that feels! Glad you enjoyed the concert, Jim, and welcome to the forum! I loved reading your review and I'm so glad people have discovered Hayley at the show. Hope to hear more from you!
*** Away on "holiday" (a.k.a. swamped with homework!). Will be back soon! ***
Hi Jim, welcome to the forum and thanks very much for posting your review. This is the most detailed information we have received to date - it's impressive to see that you wrote down all the song names (you sound just like a couple well organised senior members of this forum that I could name! )
One of those songs, "From A Distance" is one that as far as I can remember, Hayley has never sung at a concert before this tour - can anyone confirm this?
Thanks Jim once again, and I hope you will look in here again from time to time. Even better if you decide to post again in here, I hope you do!
There is not much comment regarding Hayley at the Il Divo board (Boston thread), only one that I can find so far - nice comments anyway, thanks to Lilac:
Lilac: Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2006 6:19 pm
"The show started exactly at 7:30 with Hayle performing for 30 minutes... She has a beautiful voice and was well received by the audience. The curtains came down when she left the stage, and the anticipation started to build, 30 minutes have passed, still nothing... and the audience started to clap. In the meantime, the orchestra was playing, and at this point I lost track of time and could not tell how long after they came out, the excitement was just too much!!!! And finally, the orchestra started to play RAM and the curtains slowly rose...OMG!"
Thank you, Dave, for starting this topic and for posting Cable's contribution -- a PREview of the Boston Concert, as published by the Boston Herald.
On Friday, February 3, 2006 (the morning after the concert) I eagerly looked, with great interest, at the website of the most sought-after newspaper in Boston, The Boston Globe, in order to see what the music critic(s) were saying about the concert at the Wang Theatre during the prior evening.
Well... I did indeed find a review of the Boston IL DIVO concert there, and... TO MY VERY GREAT DISMAY, I noticed that the reviewer COMPLETELY IGNORED the fact that the male popera quartet had anyone at all "opening" the show for them!!! Can you believe that?
If one didn't know any better, and one were reading this review... you might think that when the curtain went up, IL DIVO were the first (and only) to appear that evening, on the stage! Reference to a female vocalist, much less to the name Hayley Westenra, appears to be completely lacking from The Boston Globe review!
How utterly shameful of that music critic!
If anyone here wants me to post the actual review of that concert, as written in The Boston Globe, I would be willing to do that. But, I didn't know whether anyone cares to see it or not, since it doesn't mention Hayley.
Welcome to 'THE' forum for Hayley, It seems a shame that an artist of Hayley's stature should enter the stage without an introduction, surely this is something her manager Steve can make sure does not happen again. Its good to get some very positive feedback that our 'Star' is indeed shining in USA!
Does anyone know whether Jill or Gerald are touring with Hayley, is she on her own, or is she escorted by one of her managers very capable team?
thanks again Jim, I look forward to reading your posts in the future, you will find we are a friendly bunch!
In reference to "From A Distance", I am assuming that most of the audience was familiar with the song since Bette Midler's version peaked at #2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1990. Hayley spoke to the audience before she sang the song. I don't remember what she said but I do remember being eager to hear what she was going to sing because she gave a very moving introduction. Her rendition of the song was very powerful and the audience reaction was equally so. As far as info on the brochure for the event. I did not see anything about Hayley anywhere. Their was no mention of her when I went to buy my ticket online. I had called the Wang Center for info prior to purchasing my ticket. The lady who answered my questions only knew that their was a female opening for Il Divo. Their was no mention of her on the website or on the ticket itself. The only reason I knew she was going to be there was by going to her web site. All merchandise was Il Divo only. Their was nothing being handed out, and the Il Divo concert programs were the generic ones sold at all shows. I will be seeing her again on March 20th at Mechanics Hall in Worcester, Massachusetts U.S.A.. This is a small venue and I will again bring my trusty notebook and write down the setlist and maybe take some notes this time. I will post that info in the solo touring thread.
Post by stevemacdonald on Feb 10, 2006 7:43:06 GMT
Thanks for the extra info about her Boston gig, Jim.
Obviously the tour promoters didn't have their act fully together that particular evening as regards Hayley's involvement. I'd like to think we fans played a part -- however miniscule -- in sorting them out in time for Montreal.
Well the Boston Globe may have ignored Hayley but SouthCoastToday.com (Massachusetts)certainly didn't. Here is Lorraine Lucciola's excellent concert review (and more):
Far from an average teenager By Lorraine Lucciola, Standard-Times correspondent
The house lights slowly fade to black amid the fluttering of programs and the nervous whispers of ushers hurrying to seat latecomers. The expectant mood is calmed by the hypnotic strain of a single pan flute floating through Boston's palatial Wang Theater.
A dusky illumination comes up on stage to show a small but powerful combo of just four additional pieces — piano, rhythm guitar, bass and drums. Without fanfare, the poised 18-year-old chanteuse from Christchurch, New Zealand, confidently strolls to center stage, raises the microphone to her lips and offers her signature song, "Pokarekare Ana," a heartfelt folk tune lamenting the separation of lovers. Hayley Westenra doesn't have to embellish the moment or do much more than this, but she does. Her delivery packs a wallop in its simplicity as she responds to a remarkable vocal ability, almost seeming to be under her own spell.
The audience's attention is gripped as she silences the 3,700-seat hall with a strong, sure, perfectly pitched soprano that could, quite literally, be a gift from a deity.
For most adolescents, the three-year span between the ages of 15 and 18 inches along at a snail's pace. Miss Westenra, however, has not spent the last three years idly crossing off days on a calendar. In fact, her down time is limited. She still completes school assignments on the road, and looks forward to visiting with friends when she returns home. When possible, her parents travel with her. She calls her Mum her hero.
"My friends tease me about my career, going all over the world but when I come home, it's like nothing has changed," she says. A new pair of sassy jeans, high-heeled boots and feminine blouses are the wardrobe accoutrements for hanging out as well as concert appearances.
At 15, Ms. Westenra's rise to international performing status was boosted by her first CD, "Pure," (Universal Classics Group, Decca Records), which soon topped the charts at home in New Zealand and Australia, and ultimately graced European and North American markets. While promoting the CD, she performed before the Queen of England, Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush. She became one of the youngest artists to perform at New York's Carnegie Hall, a historic benchmark of success, and has also concertized at Sydney Opera House in Australia as well as Great Britain's Royal Albert Hall and Wembley Arena.
Unlike many teenagers, Ms. Westenra has seen much more than the insides of planes, tour buses, dressing rooms and concert halls in her travels. Some of her most vivid memories come from a trip to Ghana, where she served as a United Nations ambassador. "It is the complete polar opposite of everything we know in our own lives," she says.
At 18, Ms. Westenra's recently released second CD, "Odyssey" (also on the Universal Classics, Decca label) clearly signals a mature and diverse musical journey and coincides with her privileged slot as opening act on the 2006 World Tour by Il Divo, the internationally acclaimed, pop opera male singing group.
"There is something for everyone" on "Odyssey," she says.
Unlike many recording artists, who churn out the same melodic note by fits and starts for the duration of a CD, Ms. Westenra takes listeners on a diverse musical junket, featuring comfortable folksy favorites such as "Both Sides Now", a powerful variation of "Ave Maria," an upbeat, bluesy attitude in "I Say Grace" and a commanding choral punch in "Prayer." Her cross-genre appeal is delightfully evident in "Dell'Amore Non Si-Sa," a beautiful duet with Andrea Bocelli, and "She Moves Through The Fair," a dreamy, tonal piece, spiced with Celtic flavor.
Ms. Westenra's personal "odyssey" appears be buoyed by a spiritual component, fueling her tireless dedication to the business of concert appearances and recording tasks. Yet, she remains grounded by the close support of family and friends and the guidance and inspiration of her upbeat manager, Steve Abbott, while bowing to the rising demand from admiring fans for more.
In summing up her feelings about the whirlwind career that has blossomed for her over the past three years, she hesitates for just a moment then clearly utters one word. "Blessed."