Peterborough Cathedral is a big building. Probably we should meet outside the main entance on the West side (as usual with Cathedrals). I grew up in Peterborough so I know it. You will need to walk through the gate from Cathedral Square (which was once the market place), at which point you will see the magnificant West Front, and walk across the courtyard to the entrance.
Mark Pearson talks to beautiful New Zealand soprano Hayley Westenra who will debut tracks from her latest album inside Peterborough's stunning cathedral in November.
The historic atmosphere of the building will add a warming overcoat to the seasonal songs and classics which make up Hayley's Winter Magic album.
Peterborough Cathedral is the first of eight cathedrals to kick off her spell-binding tour on November 23.
With combined album sales of more than four million worldwide, Hayley's Peterborough audience will be in great company, as the soprano has performed for princes, presidents, prime ministers and even the Dalai Lama, since she shot to fame at 16.
Now aged 22, the classical performer has sung duets with Bocelli, Carreras and Terfel to name a few, but she still continues to be the down-to-earth girl from Christchurch, New Zealand.
The Guide spoke to Hayley not long after her appearance at the Festival of Remembrance, where she sang in front of The Queen and hundreds of brave ex-servicemen and women at London's Royal Albert Hall.
Hayley sang We'll Meet Again in honour of the original armed forces sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, who was also in the audience."It was a really special evening, so very emotional, and so warming. I absolutely adore Dame Vera Lynn, and it's not the first time I've met her, having paid visits to her school before," she said, mentioning the educational facility Dame Vera set up to help children with cerebral palsy.
Hayley added that she hoped Dame Vera's version of We'll Meet Again (featuring the 60-piece Fron Male Voice Choir) will stave off the challenge of the X Factor winner and make it to Christmas number one this year.
The 92-year-old star, who kept up the nation's spirits during the Second World War, has already made an incredible chart comeback this year, when she became the oldest artist to reach the top of the album chart with her greatest hits collection, We'll Meet Again: The Very Best Of Vera Lynn.
Before Christmas, however, Hayley has concerts at eight of the country's finest cathedrals and abbeys - the first being Peterborough.
Hayley revealed she has visited Peterborough Cathedral before when she sang Ave Maria at the memorial to businessman Phillip Carter (44) and his 17-year-old son Andrew who died when a helicopter bringing them home to Thornhaugh, near Peterborough, after a Chelsea match at Anfield, crashed into woodland nearby.
Peterborough businessman Jon Waller (42) and the pilot, Stephen Holdich (49), also died in the crash.
She said: "I didn't know him personally myself, but the Carter family invited me to sing at the service. It was a very moving occasion, the cathedral was full."
Now visiting the cathedral under happier circumstances, Hayley said that the building is perfect for the concert, with wonderful acoustics and lighting.
She will be joined by string quartet Raven, and timeless classics such as The Little Drummer Boy, Sleigh Ride and Abide With Me. The Peterborough Young Singers Choir will also make an appearance.
Tickets cost £23.50 for an unrestricted view and £19.50 for restricted view. To book call 0871 2305573 or visit www.seetickets.com.
Well, we will need to try to get seats within reasonable photograph range of the front. Sue and I will visit my mum tomorrow, have lunch with her, then walk the half mile to the cathedral, so probably be there about 3ish. It wouldn't surprise me if Hayley and her band arrive earlier than usual though, since it is the first one, and I suspect they will need to rehearse with the choir. Presumably we will meet outside the main door.