Another Jonathan fan here, popped over to join you!!
Just thought I'd attempt to post this pic taken after the Bradford concert - Jonathan came out slightly before Hayley and I believe there are some of you in the background waiting patiently for Hayley to make her appearance. (Not sure of your names though).
Sorry I didn't get to chat to any of you - we were the couple who were severely delayed because of bad weather and didn't arrive until just before the start of the second half of the concert. However we did manage to see the whole thing on Sunday at the Palladium so all was not lost!!
Glad that you made it in the end - even just seeing the second half would make any nightmare journey worthwhile, I'm sure you will agree
Thanks also for the pic. I am the silver/grey haired fellow with specs. centre right of your picture. German member Karsten is directly behind me and Paddy from Ireland to my right and a little above. Hope that helps.
Hayley Westenra and Jonathan Ansell - The Valentines Tour Concert
St Georges Hall, Bradford Date of Performance: Thursday 12th February, 2009 Duration: 2 hours, 5 Minutes (inc. 20 min interval). Review by Don Gillan, www.stagebeauty.net
Synopsis Impressions/Performances Verdict
In a show specially conceived for the valentine's period, Hayley Westenra and Jonathan Ansell, quite possibly the two greatest young voices in classical music today, perform a selection of romantically themed solos and duets supported by pianist Tim Evans, guitarist Andrew Moore, and all-girl string quartet 'Raven'.
When Hayley Westenra first appeared on the international music scene as a callow sixteen year old in 2003 it was obvious from the start that she possessed a prodigious talent. Now a young woman, that talent has matured into something that is even more special. The voice remains as beautiful as ever, but now she has a polish and finesse suggestive of someone who has spent an entire lifetime in the business - but at the same time a quiet, modest manner that is tremendously endearing. Her partner on this tour, rich-voiced tenor Jonathan Ansell, is also enormously talented with an equally remarkable voice and together the pair are stunning. During the course of the evening they each sang a selection of solo numbers, as well as coming together from time to time to sing a some wonderfully romantic duets.
Among the numbers Hayley offered us were a delightful rendition of 'Songbird', 'Both Sides Now', 'Scarborough Fair' and 'I know You By Heart'. But the highlight of her individual performances, and of the evening as a whole, was her rendition of her signature number, the hauntingly melodious Maori love song 'Pokarakare Ana'. No other song could showcase her golden voice so completely, and no other voice could serve the song so well.
Among Ansell's numbers, the standouts were 'My Own True Love', 'Canto Della Terra' and 'If You're Not The One' - a song which amply demonstrates his range as it calls for him to sing some incredible high notes.
When they came together the pair were magnificent. They opened the show with a sublime rendition of 'Un Giorno Per Noi', re-combining from time to time during the couse of the evening. 'All I Ask of You' from Phantom of the Opera was a real show-stopper, possibly the best version of that song that I have ever heard. But, saving the best till last, even that was surpassed by an incredibly powerful performance of 'Par Sempre'.
All girl string quartet, 'Raven', as well as supplying musical backing for Hayley and Jonathan, were given a couple of sets of their own to showcase their own unique arrangements of some well known classics, including a frenetic selection from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'. These girl's are also incredibly talented, and on another night I would happily have paid to listen to them alone.
But the biggest star of the show wa, of course, Hayley, in magnificent form on the night, amply illustrating why she is the biggest selling classical artist of the 21st century. But then, speaking of recordings, if you truly treasure your collection of Hayley Westenra albums do not come to see this show. Once you have seen and heard this Hayley performing live they will never sound the same again.
An unmatched evening of superb classical entertainment.
*sigh* Come to Australia, Hayley! Pleeeeeaaasee? Ha ha ha. What a wonderful review. While every HWI member that went to Hayley's concerts has raved about how fantastic she has become, it's always great when you hear it from an objective third party (or maybe not such an objective third party now that Hayey has won him over!).
I'm very greatful for all the members who have posted their photos an reviews -- it really helps international members feel a part of her concerts. I do understand what the reviewer means about the recordings, though. I know that I have been to concerts where I haven't listened to the records for weeks after, only because I didn't want to ruin the sound of the live songs that I had in my head!
I think Hayley needs to release another DVD, but I suppose that's a topic for another thread.
Wow, what a review! But from what I have seen of these concerts in the various videos, thoroughly deserved. We badly need a new album Hayley. What you are at present is incredible, it needs to be recorded for posterity. In a hundred years time, you won't be performing as you are today, but people will still listen to your recordings and marvel, when todays pop sensations are long forgotten. You will be a legend, and we are privileged to be able to experience your performances today. I truly believe that. And to those (which I think includes you Hayley) who think that music is not important, I say that music inspires and uplifts, and fills us with hope. Wars and financial crashes and politics will be forgotten (and our mistakes repeated for sure), but great art lives forever. Even our amateur videos will be priceless, and those who seek to prevent us from recording these wonderful performances should hang their heads in shame. They are depriving our children and grandchildren and our friends overseas of some of the finest musical performances of all time. Truly great artists need to be naturally talented and prepared to work hard to make the most of their God-given talent. I think of Jimi Hendrix, widely regarded as the greatest rock guitarist of all time, who was rarely parted from his guitar. Hayley too comes across as totally dedicated to being as good as she can be, and doesn't have the unstable temperament of so many others. We are very privileged to be able to enjoy her music live. Future generations may only have her recordings.