I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that touring with Il Divo was a bad idea. Certainly she will gain many fans as a result. The concern is that she could have gained more. Those people who talk about her will hardly get her name across if they don't know it. One of them thought it was Peggy!
All we are saying is that the benfits would have been even greater if she had been given a page or two in the programme, had been introduced to the audiences, and her CDs and DVDs had been available at ALL venues.
The "crushed cables" may explain the glitches but they do NOT justify them. These are professional performers and they have a right to expect that such glitches are prevented, or at least minimised. And the public who paid good money for one of the first concerts in America are not going to be satisfied with the promise that the glitched will be ironed out by the time the tour reaches Paris.
This tour is a magnificent platform for Hayley to become even better known around the world. What a pity that, due to the apparent lack of planning somewhere along the way, that benefit has been somewhat diminished.
I asked about Hayley in the Il Divo forum and I've now heard from a few 'Divas' including Constance and Lina, they said Hayley wasn't properly introduced at the Toronto concert (where the start was delayed) but
- "she is mentioned at the end of the programme and there are some lovely pictures"
- "her CDs, a poster and a T Shirt [ ] were available at the merchandise counter"
- Hayley was properly introduced in Montreal and she repeated her name at the end.
And in Montreal, as far as i can see from all the reports, the audience were all seated before Hayley started to sing. There are no reported sound problems.
That, I think answers all of Steve's concerns at the start of this thread... doesn't it?
It looks to me like the early problems have been ironed out - no wonder Hayley got a standing ovation at the Montreal concert.
Well the North American leg of Il Divo's tour is now over and we shall see how much this benefits Hayley's visibility in the US and Canada. Certainly, Odyssey would NOT have been in the Canadian classical charts for the last few weeks (as it has been) and I do not think it would still be strongly in the top 10 of the US classical crossover chart (no. 7 last week). When she next returns there, hopefully, people (and the media!) will remember!
I don't think the few headlining concerts Hayley is about to do in North America will have much additional impact but they may keep her name in the News for a while longer.
After that, it's the Ireland and UK leg of Il Divo's tour for Hayley - starting 24th March - only three weeks to go! She will be opening in 17 concerts there and some of the venues are HUGE. The largest, Manchester's MEN Arena, has a seated capacity of 19,500 and is (or was until recently) the biggest indoor music arena in Europe. Most of the venues are sold out and the rest are nearly sold out - here is a list of their approximate seating capacities for all the concerts:
This is, I think, considerably more than the total capacity of the North American venues where Hayley performed and of course, the total population of UK and Ireland is about one fifth that of USA and Canada.
Also, in the UK, a lot more Il Divo fans will have heard of Hayley so hopefully, she will be greeted more enthusiastically than reports from some of the US concerts indicate. If not, they will have me, Roger and Richard (at the very least!!!) to answer to!!!
So, in theory, the UK/Ireland leg should have a proportionately greater impact on Hayley's chart success. Well I hope so.. we shall soon see!
Hi everyone I know this probably seems like I'm waaaay behind on the gossip but I just joined and am enjoying reading some of the threads. And, well, as a huge Il Divo fan I must comment, I hope no one will mind. I do think it is a good idea that she is opening for them. True, most of the crowd is not there for her but most of the crowd (at least in my case in Chicago) didn't know her at all. So, she got some great exposure and YES she was mentioned in the $20 program! There was a full two page spread of her pic and a bio....there was probably another page but I didn't buy one so I can't give specific details but I did see it. i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif And yea, there a few people who filtered in while she was singing but *shrug* I think the whole point of this is to get her name out there and in the US I really think it did just that! She isn't well known here - I hadn't heard of her until that concert. I recall that she introduced herself...so no it wasn't a big deal intro but it did get her name out and her cd's. I think they were offered for sale at the concert Sooo, yea, most of the audience is there for Il Divo and heck, when you pay that much money, I'd want my money's worth - of Il Divo. All that said, Hayley was still great and I hope she does do a solo tour in the states again sometime cuz I'd go!!
*oh, just saw Dave's post hahah sorry, mine is rather redundant then! but that's my two cents! haha*
Thank you for your comments which are very valid and appreciated. You are living proof (we have seen others) that the tour is working from Hayley's point of view and I have no doubt she will gain many new fans as a result.
Just last week I was praising the people who signed Hayley up to open for Il Divo since it seemed like a win-win scenario for the two acts. Now, I'm not so sure.
Hayley is forced to perform while the audience is still getting seated and is not given the benefit of a proper introduction nor mention in the concert program (last I heard).
What's more, the audience is overwhelmingly partisan for Il Divo, to the point where Hayley's participation is practically negligible as far as they're concerned. The critics barely take notice of her as well, and who can blame them?
The tour is young yet, but the trend is disturbing nonetheless. If I were Hayley's management I'd seek immediate redress in the following ways:
1. She MUST be included in the program! 2. She MUST be announced prior to taking the stage! 3. All concertgoers MUST be seated before her performance! 4. Her CDs MUST be included in the concession areas.
These aren't extravagant demands, just common courtesy that should especially be accorded to someone who's as talented and successful as Hayley.
First, I tried to reply to the thread created by Dave on the Belfast performance but could not find a 'reply to link'. However, this is an appropriate thread since I was going to develop the very debate you raise, Steve.
In simple answer to you, you list all that I feared would be the case when I first heard of the planned show. I jump back to this after the following report from the Belfast Telegraph, in case the mods want to reposition this.
However, perhaps a duplicate post on the Belfast thread would be justified as the content of this review complements the points you raise.
The following is the report on Belfast from the Belfast Telegraph of Sunday. On the beat: Night at the poperaJohn McGurk 26 March 2006 THE biggest classical crossover act of recent times, Il Divo are in Northern Ireland tomorrow night. Since the chiselled-chinned Il Divo dreamboats were launched in a blaze of publicity by Pop Idol svengali Simon Cowell in August 2004, the quartet has racked up massive sales around the globe. The operatic pop quartet's first self-titled album, featuring a middle brow selection of familiar classical tunes and pop standards shifted more than five million copies around the world. And their second album, Ancora has surpassed those sales, with its UK and USA chart-topping success in November 2005 and January 2006 respectively. Quite plainly, their brand of light opera is adored by the sort of audience which prefers to buy their CDs in a supermarket, rather than a music store. However, critical acclaim has been much harder for Il Divo to earn than fans, with accusations that they personify the dumbing down and sexing up of classical music. Cowell's fingerprints are all over Il Divo - a man who admits that he does not even like opera! The international ensemble - Spaniard Carlos Marin, Frenchman Sebastien Izambard, Swiss native Urs Buhler and American David Miller - are all technically excellent singers. But their Armani model heart-throb good looks were surely an important part of the equation - to create a mix of The Three Tenors and Westlife for a 40-something female market. On its own terms, Ancora isn't a bad album. Their Spanish language version of Unchained Melody does have a certain continental charm, as does the Bolero-like drama of En Aranjuez Con Tu Amor. And their French language interpretation of Celine Dion's If That's What It Takes - Pour Que Tu M'Aimes Encore - is a genuine pop pleasure. But far too many tracks follow an unimaginatively repetitive formula - tinkling piano intro, softly-sung verses and an blasting crescendo of vocals and swelling orchestral strings of sledgehammer subtlety. Their arrangers and songwriters also seem to have swallowed the blueprint of Celine Dion's megahit, My Heart Will Go On - with far too many fake Uilleain pipes smothering the songs. Their current world tour - which sees them play to 300,000 people in the British Isles alone- is a virtual sell-out. But the 80-minute show has come in for some stinging criticism in the USA, with some observers singling out the heavily-scripted between-song chat and backslaps for particular rebuke. Fans love them. But many critics can't stand them. What everyone is in agreement on is that Cowell's contrived creation - a Continental pop opera balladeering band - has worked astonishingly well. ? Il Divo are at the Point Theatre, Dublin tonight and the Odyssey Arena, Belfast tomorrow night. Dublin is sold out. Only single seats remain on sale for the Belfast show, at the venue box office and Ticketmaster outlets. Special guest is Hayley Westenra.
This `criticism confirms my own fears and corroborates the reports I have received from friends in North America but none of which have they corroborated by quoting appropriate reports to me. Nonetheless, my awareness is that these views are wide-spread.
Mercifully, Hayley has been kept out of the negative publicity and when she has been mentioned she has been specifically praised, often in contrast from Il Divo.
The arguments were, as I believe: Their tour, their arrangement, their budget, she 'goes along for the ride'. Takes admin pressure off of her.
She had the chance to do 'side' tours of her own and she's already over there and the Il Divo audience is obviously completely different. As I said previously in posts relating to the 'stalwarts' NOT hogging her time after a show, those shows I attended are certainly not an Il Divo audience and it is numbers that sell and make her money, not the few stalwarts.
Hayley has said 'you try things and you learn from mistakes'. It would be wrong to classify the Il Divo tour as a mistake. As a one-off it may well have given her something if that something is not yet defined but where does she go from here?
She has been associated with a dumb-down act but has not been tarnished with a dumbed down image. Perhaps by contrast she has re-affirmed her 'class' image. But, while widening her audience awareness is this the audience that will follow her and is she going to go for sales, or better defining her market?
I suppose the key lies in what it is that Hayley wants. She wants to explore herself and therefore will use what ever 'vehicle' she can. There are pros and cons to all options, especially while she is making up her mind as to whether she wants a label or wishes simply to be herself.
My guess, is that she perhaps needs another Il Divo TYPE tour of the States but NOT Il Divo perhaps appealing to a different audience, balanced sexes of a younger age, before she can consolidate 'The Hayley Westenra Show' as a viable option. That really would give her 'the world' to do exactly what she pleases.
Her eyes were the blue of cornflowers that dance amongst ripening wheat, Her hair the colour of golden sands bleached by summer's heat.
Post by stevemacdonald on Mar 27, 2006 7:52:46 GMT
First off, thanks for your thoughtful comments on my anguished post from several weeks ago.
In the ensuing weeks I've read at least two dozen reports on her tour with ID penned by critics and fans alike, and feel somewhat relieved. The much-publicised, over-the-top thong tossers at these events (do they really rate as "concerts"?) turned out to be innocuous, and self-mockingly desperate, housewives who were not unpleased by Hayley's performance, just unfocused on her.
The media critics on hand were obviously drawn from two opposing orientations. In some cities a Pop-sympathetic writer would do the deed of telling it like it was, screams, undies and all. In others the snooty town scold rose to the occasion and warned the world that a blasphemingly non-purist, anti-opera conspiracy was afoot.
Meanwhile it turns out Hayley was having a blast going from place to place, meeting new people, trying new things. I thought to myself, "SWEET!"
Looking at this from Hayley's perspective is reason enough not to care about Simon Cowell's appalling cynicism in starting a commercial quasi-operatic quartet when he admittedly has no appreciation for the underlying musical form.
i have read the comments on this thread with interest as Hayley's tour has progressed but have reserved a view until after seeing the concert at Wembley yesterday.
I think the exposure that Hayley has had has been a good thing but it has been a shame that she did not get the opportunity to perform with an orchestra on the UK leg of the tour. I am sure that her singing sounds even more incredible with a full orchestra. When Vittorio was on Loose Women today (ITV1) he had 3 violinists with him and this added to the performance. Hayley is the best selling female classical artist and I believe she should have an orchestra or at the very least an ensemble with her whenever she performs. Appearing as a warm up act should not mean that her performance is any less impressive that Il Divo - and that means the lighting, scenery, accompaniment etc. should be first class.
At Wembley, her act sounded great but it was clear that she was not considered a star on the same level as Il Divo and this was not right. Hayley's TV appearances do much to raise her profile and whilst she is touring at the pace she is currently, she has little time for these appearances.
Hayley will gain fans as a result of the tour and this is a good thing. Her promoters need to make sure that she is given proper support and production.
I hope that Hayley is enjoying the tour and that no one is making her feel any less special that the main act. Hayley is not a supporting act - she is a world famous star and deserves the highest respect and admiration for her work. Il Divo did not mention her once in their show - not even a thank you. Why did she not do some duets with them?
I guess I can only answer the question definitively when i get the chance to ask Hayley "Was it worth it? "
I totally agree with Stuart that Hayley is not being given the star treatment she deserves by the organisers of the Il Divo tour. However, she is definitely winning lots of new fans on this tour. I'm glad I was at Wembley early to greet her when she arrived, because a small group of Il Divo fans joined me, and they were very pleased to meet her. I'm sure Hayley was delighted by their very complimentary comments, and it's not often she meets a group of fans that are nearly all women! i.postimg.cc/9fYxy370/smilie-big-grin.gif
As Richard mentioned, it is the tour planners, organisers and management who are responsible for the concert format and choreography, including what is and isn't said on stage. It will have been done this way to maximise the benefits for Il Divo and especially, their commercial sponsors. Il Divo would have had some input but in the end, they will have had to take advice - they are still new at this (touring) game!
For all we know, Il Divo themselves may be unhappy about what some people have said is a "lack of common courtesy" towards Hayley in her part of the show. Many of their fans certainly are and have said so in no uncertain terms. Their fans have almost unanimously been very supportive of Hayley and I for one am grateful for that; I hope we can return the favour. All classical crossover acts suffer from the same media bias - a lack of airplay in between their occasional TV appearances. Let us all stand together against The System!
I am pretty sure that this tour will turn out to have been good for Hayley as it is increasing her exposure and raising her profile - not only among classical crossover record buyers and concert-goers but in a commercial sense, too. Anyone who, in Simon Cowell's high powered commercial World, is considered good enough to sing on the same stage as Il Divo for months on end cannot fail to be noticed by the other inhabitants of that World and by the media.
Although some of the organising seems to be imperfect to say the least, from Hayley's point of view, I'm glad that she's doing this tour.
Dave, I do take your point, but who is going to speak up for Hayley if not her fans? Many people talk as if Hayley should be grateful for the opportunity to be Il Divo's supporting act but I really think she is too big a star for that. When do we hear that Katherine Jenkins is supporting act for anybody?
I really enjoyed Il Divo's performance and I am sure many of their fans are genuine music lovers. At Wembley, where I was sitting, the audience talked and moved and stood up and went to the bar right through Hayley's performance and it was not pretty - and Hayley must be aware of the general milling around.
I know that Il Divo and their promoters call the shots but from the outset (US tour), feedback suggests that conditions have not been ideal. Time will tell - we will have to see what the impact of the tour has been on Hayley's career, her record sales, concert venues and her performance skills.
Hayley has sung on the same stage as some really great world class performers and they always pay tribute to her voice and her talent.
I am sure she has learned a lot from the experience, and she is seeing a lot of the world, but I don't think she'll be rushing into another supporting act role.