It was a really hot day in Christchurch which I think our Australian fans appreciated. I arrived at the CBS Arena around 6:30pm.
While having a nice refreshing beer Rodney turned up (ScoobyDoo) and then Robert from HayleyOnline. I also saw JohnH there but he was part of the crew working for Hayley so he was pretty busy. Then later David turned up.
Around 7:40pm the lights went dark and the band filed onto the stage. Tim Evans at the Grand Piano on the left side. Beside him Lance Su'a with his guitars. Back Centre was Steve Harvie on his drums enclosed by a plastic shield. Then the first member of the string section on the right was Tom Dennison Double Bass as well as Bass guitar. Lastly the String Quartet consisting of Rachel Wells on Cello, Charlotte Featherston on Viola, Mahuia Bridgeman Cooper 2nd Violin and Jessica Hindin 1st Violin.
WE were all waiting in the dark except for the star lights at the back of the stage when an angelic voice off stage started sing A Capella the first verse of Prayer before she arrived on stage to applause. Our gourgeous Hayley was wearing the nude coloured Milan dress and black high heels. It was so great to hear Hayley sing as it has been a while since she has toured NZ and her voice has matured so much and also how she expresses herself on stage has improved a lot too with the more experience she has had. It was the way she would move her hands to emphasize a lyric or how she lifted an eyebrow or closed her eyes (that was for you Simba lol). A lot of the times she would stand at the microphone but for a few songs she would also grab the mike and move around the stage. Sometimes you feel she is looking right at you as she scans the audience.
The second song was Scarborough Fair.
Hayley then talked about how she was using this tour to raise funds for the Christchurch Earthquake Fund but also she said as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF she hoped we would support them in Africa with the famine. While talking about this she suddenly stopped and said "Oh you have come a long way" as she had seen Marianne and Graeme in the audience .
She then talked about working with Ennio Morricone and how hard a life it was travelling between London and Rome to which everyone laughed. Then she sang the very beautiful song Profumo Di Limone. I think I loved her Paradiso songs the best as they showed off best how her voice and expressiveness has matured. Plus I love hearing Hayley singing in Italian. She sounds and looks like an Italian singer.
The last song in this section was the lovely song Songbird.
Then Hayley introduced the guest artist, the very talented 21 year old Chase Douglas.
Chase sang a great rendition of Maria. Chase has improved since the first concert and now he is superb, a great strong voice and a crowd favourite (it helps when he seems to have relatives at most concerts lol).
The second song will please Libby. It is Josh Groban's Per Te and it was fantastic. Chase went off stage to great applause.
Then the 1st Violin started playing and soon Hayley appeared on stage to applause in her stunning red dress with nude coloured high heels. The song was one of my favourites Mummer's Dance with Hayley dancing around the stage (well as much as Hayley would ever dance in those high heels lol).
Hayley then talked about how the album Pure was a launching pad for her career and she thanked the Christchurch audience for their support in the early years and then she said the next song was one of her favourites from the album and it was Who Painted The Moon Black.
The another fantastic Ennio song La Califfa. It almost looks like Hayley eats the microphone as she expresses herself in this song.
Then all to suddenly we come to the last song of the first half and for this one it is Hayley and Tim at the piano. It is the very beautiful song My Heart Belongs To You and I think after that song every ones heart belonged to Hayley.
During the interval we chatted amongst ourselves before we quickly talked to Gerald and Isaac. My god Isaac has shot up in size, he is now the tallest in the family. Then when we went back to our seats we spotted Sophie and Jill sitting down. Apparently they arrived late and waited in the back stage area.
The second half opened with the band playing the opening of You Raise Me Up before Chase came on stage to perform that song. Then my favourite song of his which he explained was an operatic song by Donizetti called Una Furtiva Lagrima. While the band did the opening verse Chase stood there and acted like he was lost in thought and then this most beautiful operatic voice appeared from him. I think it catches the audience out every time. I presume he his studying opera at University.
After Chase leaves to much applause the band starts playing again and Hayley appears in her purplish dress and those lovely red high heels. The song is that lovely pop song Summer Fly with Hayley moving around the stage swaying to the music (lovely).
Then I think it is a crowd favourite any where in the world judging by the applause as she starts singing Pokarekare Ana the first verse was A Capella.
Then Hayley introduced the next song by talking about Ennio and how she wrote lyrics to some of the songs including this one Whispers In A Dream which was magic to hear live. The thing about the Paradiso songs is that on the CD Hayley is just part of the orchestra whereas here with her band her voice is at the front and it makes it more powerful and emotional in my opinion.
Then Hayley moved towards Tim at the piano where Hayley explained she would normally sing this song with an orchestra but that Tim will have to do instead lol. So unlike in the UK when she did this song with a guitarist it was instead with a piano. It was of course I Knew I Loved You and it was superb.
Then one of my favourites of the concert was Metti Una Sera A Cena which Hayley has sung beautifully at these concerts (her breathing has improved since that TV appearance).
Then Hayley talked about when she was 11 years old she won some CD vouchers and while listening to a CD at a store she fell in love with this artist. It was of course Andrea Bocelli. And for this particular song she said it needed two people so Chase came back on stage. The song was Vivo Per Lei and they were both great with their voices blending well together.
Then another crowd favourite with applause at the beginning (they have done this at all the concerts so far) was the famous song I Dreamed A Dream which I think Hayley sings the best of anyone I have heard singing this song.
Another song Hayley loved from Pure was Both Sides Now.
Then finally the end of the show (always comes too quickly). We hear the start of Wuthering Heights and the best rendition I think I have heard (even better than Kate). Hayley really expresses herself and when she sings the part about taking my soul Hayley is reaching out with her hand and then clenches it into a fist it feels like she has taken my soul with her.
And then Hayley thanks us before walking off stage while the band plays on. After much applause Hayley reappears and asks do we want one more song. She heads towards the piano sits down and then looks at us and said "I don't think I can play in theses heels, do you mind if I take them off?" which we all agreed to lol.
Hayley mentioned that she loved Joni Mitchell and this was another song which while not being a Christmas song was a seasonal one. It was of course River. Hayley plays the piano well and it is a lovely song.
Then Hayley said she will do another song and she started singing (to applause) Amazing Grace before the band joined in the 2nd verse. At the end Hayley got a standing ovation (lead by Jill and Sophie). I think this song means a lot to us in Christchurch since the memorial service in March.
Even though Hayley left the stage we kept clapping and Hayley came back to do a third encore which was Never saw Blue.
And another fantastic concert comes to an end. The Sunday Star article mentioned Hayley as the littlest star but I think Hayley has now gone Super Nova.
I will write another report for the after show signing.
Looks like our HWI members have to leave a comment on this bad review of David Sell ( do i have heard this name before )
Hi Joyce and everyone,I wouldn't read too much into 'The Press' report.In my opinion it is just typical lousy write up that this paper does to Hayley.There is really nothing new coming from 'The Press' IMO I have yet to read a decent write up from this paper regarding Hayley in fact I wonder if this so-called reporter was at the same concert that I went to.
The queue for the signing wasn't as big as Auckland or Wellington but it still took a long time to get to Hayley. I was with Jillian, Nadia, Rodney and Robert. David was last and Graeme and Marianne were near the front. While waiting we could see the family come out including Arnaud.
Now while waiting for the concert to start I got everyone from HWI and Robert to sign a card I got thanking Hayley for her support for Christchurch (even Sophie lol).
The lovely Nadia
Signing Jillian's poster
Then I gave Hayley our card which Hayley was surprised to get. She said she would read it later. Then my camera battery went flat so that is all of the photos I took. We all went our separate ways. Some to have seen their last show and some with more shows to go i21.photobucket.com/albums/b294/hdjoespics/EEjdKsU.gif.
Thank you very much for the report and photos Ross!! Again this sounds like a fabulous Hayley concert- really wish I could've been there, like many others on the forum I imagine! best wishes Sing
“The only time success occurs before work is in the dictionary." "Embrace the thing that makes you, you. Embrace the thing that makes you unique, work as hard as possible and be nice to people." Josh Groban Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you respond to it
Hi Ross,thanks for your report (there is a job going at 'The Press' I recon you should take it on)
As Ross mentioned we met up together with Jillian and her friend Nadia together with Spider man,Graeme and Marianne and David A great night was had no doubt about it. I can only totally agree with Ross's report with not much else to add.I can tell you folks,there is going to be a superb collection of photo's from Jillian and Nadia and Ross and Graeme. I was lucky to see a pre view of some of them and all I can say is "Watch this space" keep your eye on this thread.
Looks like our HWI members have to leave a comment on this bad review of David Sell ( do i have heard this name before )
Lots of Critics are "not nice word". That's why they're critics. They can be especially brutal to hometown entertainers. Regardless, she should take negative reviews like that as motivation to expand and grow as an artist. i.e. songwriting, collaborating with new people.
I think the only people who can reasonably respond to Sell are people who were there and at least the paper does offer the opportunity for comment from those who attended.
I can only comment on certain aspects based on my direct experience of Hayley over most of the years she has been in the UK.
I do ask the question is Mr sell simply selling himself and therefore riding on the back of Hayley's success and fame and the same thing may apply to the paper looking for sales and publicity. It happens. Is it a cack-handed put up job? Does the paper bizarrely feel bad at being too supportive of home-grown talent and therefore feels it ought to be seen to be critical and therefore has gone overboard to the nth degree?
"LATEST: Christchurch songbird Hayley Westenra has turned to Twitter to respond to a scathing review of her homecoming concert.
"bland", If he hasn't seen her in 4 years and bland means that after 4 to 10 years the format she presented 10 years ago still works, then there are better ways of expressing it and "bland" is not the right word.
"This morning Westenra tweeted: "EVERY time I come home to ChCh to do a concert I wake up the next day to a bad review from David Sell. Mr Sell, I get it, you don't like me."" Regretfully this happens, I've known it in city papers in the UK where a particular play is badly received for no logically expressed reason than personal angst of the reviewer. It happens.
"The concert was one of 10 shows in 10 New Zealand cities on Westenra's Paradiso tour to mark the 10th anniversary of her career.
Did you go to Hayley's concert? What did you think? Email email@example.com."
There you are people--your chance to comment but refrain from being down-right rude be objectively critical, analyse his points and say why you perceive them as wrong.
"But Sell was not in a celebratory mood.
"Hayley Westenra was just Hayley, a little older, and with a few more songs in her repertoire," Sell wrote.
""It was difficult to know whether she still has a lovely voice, because the amplification was so consistently high as to destroy any quality and variety that may have been there."
On that I cannot objectively comment but it does happen and it can depend where you are but if Arneau was there then I am surprised. Before I knew the Arneau connection I had already observed that sound quality had improved since his arrival.
""She still sings perfectly in tune, but her musical interpretations are as bland and lacking in musical insights as ever."
Without question this is complete arrant utter balderdash. Her diversity of interpretation has curved consistently upwards and with Paradiso she has achieved some of the finest voice/orchestra interweaving available. Morriconi is not the only one, it was also achieved with the Poccahunta which unfortunately did not make it as planned.
""One only needed to look at the grossly overpriced 'programme' to see that the emphasis is almost entirely on Hayley Westenra the person."
Well of course it was it was her show! Celebrating 10 years of her. The witless baboon!
"She has been so talked up to be a star that many, including herself, believe it.
1. Being a star is the one thing she does not behave as being or wishing such adoration.
2. He says it himself "talked up" that is other people's fault NOT hers and it was something she herself does NOT believe, that is obvious by her manner.
"Sell said the one feature that made the concert worth going to was support act Chase Douglas, a Bachelor of Music Performance student from Waikato University."
This is a deliberate back-hander akin to Kiri's asinine comment for which she later apologised to Hayley. What he is intending to say is that he doesn't rate those who sing naturally but those who go first to university and, in some cases, have their voices wrecked by some form of artificial interpretation of how the voice should be rather than actually is. That he applauds Chase is fair comment, hwiers have already expressed pleasure and complimented him.
"He is a young singer with a voice that has everything to promise him a brilliant future. But more than that, he is musical to the core.
What? Because he is three years younger than Hayley she is close to retiring and about to draw her old age pension?
"Chase's association with the Paradiso tour is a convenience that he was sensible to go along with for the publicity and exposure that a countrywide audience gives."
That statement completely contradicts everything he has already said: she has a reputation was guaranteed sell out or near sell out auditoria in some if not all the largest stadia available in NZ and that could only be achieved were she not as damned good as all her audiences have en mass consistently told her. And they paid, did not get a freeby seat for which they were paid to sit in! Of course he jumped at the opportunity and in that Sell is stating what a reputation she has and she's a band wagon onto whose tailboard he should grab a hold.
"Musically, he is so far ahead of the general standard of Paradiso that I look forward to his next moves in the profession where he can really assert his superior musicianship."
That is utter codswallop. How could a boy of such tender age possibly match the half-century of experience of Morricconi?
"I was impressed also with the musical backing, and the direction of Timothy Evans. Youthfulness was the key here. They, with Chase Douglas, lifted the performances out of an otherwise threatened evening of boredom."
Tim has consistently done well but again that asinine comment that Hayley is no longer young--at 24!!!!
Well, I've added my comment. Let's see if it appears. I would really like to know who Mr Sell thinks is a better singer than Hayley. Since I have never seen one in my lifetime, and my 67th birthday is tomorrow.
But go to the site and comment guys. I think she needs help here.