I'm glad to hear that Hayley gets to keep her band. The reason I thought they were only for the RoD tour was that most of her other concerts, they are not there. Well, Raven has been at some. I suppose it has to do with what musical accompaniments already provided at the concert, or perhaps to do with the musicians' own schedule.
THE fact that Hayley Westenra has performed duets with the likes of Bryn Terfel and Jose Carreras might lead one to think that she is New Zealand's answer to Katherine Jenkins — a concert singer with leanings towards opera — but nothing could be further from the truth.
Hayley's vocal style is as far removed from opera as it is possible to get — her voice has a real purity and sweetness that reminds me of Kate Bush (indeed, at one point she even treated the audience to a beautiful rendition of Wuthering Heights) with a dash of Eva Cassidy.
The programme was varied and eclectic, ranging from the timeless Scarborough Fair and Londonderry Air, right through to Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now.
Supported by Kenfig Hill and District Male Voice Choir, who performed a selection of well-loved pieces including Unchained Melody, American Trilogy and Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer, Hayley proved to be an enormously talented and self-effacing singer with an engagingly down-to-earth air and an infectious giggle.
The surprise hit of the evening turned out to be Raven, an all-girl string quartet who set out to update the classics. They came up trumps with electrifying versions of Ravel's Bolero, The Godfather theme and excerpts from Vivaldi's Four Seasons.
It was fabulous to see the Grand packed to the rafters for such a high quality event, which demonstrated that there is a massive appetite for such fare. Indeed, while making my way along The Kingsway prior to the show, I was approached by a couple asking for directions to the theatre. It transpired that they had come for the weekend from Oxford purely in order to attend the concert — which just goes to show that one should never underestimate the pulling power of the performing arts.
Thanks Richard, for the review by Graham Williams. I was amused by his comments:
" I was approached by a couple asking for directions to the theatre. It transpired that they had come for the weekend from Oxford purely in order to attend the concert — which just goes to show that one should never underestimate the pulling power of the performing arts."
As Tom, Thomas and Karsten would testify - how little does he know!
Overall an excellent review and good to see Raven getting a well deserved mention. Apart from not knowing just how far people will travel to see Hayley :2fun: he comes over well and knows what he is talking about.
Three days without WiFi, but some rain again in the meantime - so I have a few photos to post. I edited them on the laptop with an unadjusted (and a bit tiny) screen, so I've no idea if the brightness etc. is sufficient. Please let me know if it shouldn't be so.
At least I had the opportunity yesterday (at 3:12 p.m.) on the motorway heading to Cornwall and listening to Classic FM to hear a certain kiwi soprano with her 'main' title...