Hello everyone, the video is ready now - and Stuart, thanks for the great screen shots, you saved me a job!
We would have loved to bring you the whole of the ITV Wales programme - TV highlights of the full concert - but we cannot. However, as a Christmas treat for loyal Hayley fans - and remembering that the TV show had coverage limited to Wales - we have put together some "highlights of the highlights" to give you a good flavour of this wonderfully Christmassy Hayley concert. It's guaranteed to whet your appetite for more so if (as we hope) you ever get the chance to see more, do whatever it takes to get hold of it!
I've been watching this on and off for nearly three days now as I prepared it and the more times I see it, the more I want to see it again. Not for the first time, I have been well and truly Westenwowed!
Broadbanders, you should be able to download this file in 20 minutes at most - although it should start to play within a minute. I have also added a much smaller "dial-up" version of the file below, which should take less than half an hour to download at 56K but of course, the quality is much lower.
Christmas Hayley! (60MB) EDIT 5 Feb 2008: I've now removed the original 60MB video as a prelude to posting excerpts on HWI and perhaps YouTube, over the next few weeks.
Edit: A low quality dial-up version is STILL here! (9MB)
Well, lets just say that that video was everything I had expected and much, much more. It was, in my opinion, Hayley's best performance to date. She looked relaxed and was clearly enjoying herself... and the audience was enjoying her music to bits!
O Holy Night, the first song, was outstanding. Her voice was as crystalline as the diamonds on her dress ... (hm... I wonder how she happened to be wearing my favourite dress in that song... Thank you Roger and Dave, that was true Christmas kindness on your part!!). O Holy Night is my all-time favourite Christmas carol, and Hayley more than did it justice.
The Christmas Song and White Christmas were magical. They had that sort of 'filmic' sound Hayley was talking about a few interviews ago. What can I say? Hayley's voice is best suited to those kinds of songs. Beautiful.
Away in a Manger... I heard a sample of Hayley's version of this song on 7Digital a few weeks ago, and I've sung it almost every day since. It's such as a sweet song, and the children were beautiful.
The Prayer... I'm being totally unbiased here, that was the best version of that song I've heard in my life! I remember once we had a discussion about the possibility of Hayley recording it after so many other artists have done it. Well, Hayley really should record it, because she was great! I love how she varied the melody a bit... she sounded kind of like Celine Dion. My only problem was that the orchestra and choir followed note for note the melody and arrangement of the original. Hayley, however, made it her own!
Then followed a humorous rendition of 12 Days of Christmas... really cute!
I think that's all of them... thank you again Dave for the videos! They exceeded my every expectation!