17th February 2004_


News Menu Button Concert pure delight

"Pure" really is the most apt adjective for Christchurch singer Hayley Westenra and her voice.

Only 16 years old and already launched on an international performing and recording career, Westenra showed why her album Pure is the biggest selling debut classical album worldwide in the first of her New Zealand "The Pure Tour 2004" concerts to a full house in Dunedin's Regent Theatre last night.

Her singing was as polished and perfect as her CD but warm, alive and engaging.

Like a rainbow ribbon of silk, her voice flowed from one note to the next, never straining or hesitating.

Unfortunately, during the first half, the speakers could not always handle her top notes, particularly during her duet with Dunedin opera singer Brandon Pou, All I Ask of You .

A confident and polished performer, Westenra showed remarkable poise and lack of nerves, but her introductions between songs were full of giggles, showing she remains a natural unspoilt teenager.

In a world full of singing teen sensations amping up their sex appeal, it was refreshing to see a young woman being herself.

Westenra was generous with the limelight, giving guest artists Pou and singer/songwriter Hinewehi Mohi, her younger siblings Sophie and Isaac, and even the band, all of whom had their own sets throughout the show, a chance to shine unobstructed.

The show finished with a Maori lullaby Hine E Hine , sung by all the singers, and the rapturous applause started even before the last bars were played.

The enthusiastic Dunedin audience got value for money, demanding three encores, including the spine-tingling Wuthering Heights , which really ought to have been included in the main programme.

All in all, it was a concert of pure delight.

A review of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra's "Musical Muster" concert in the Glenroy Auditorium last night will appear in tomorrow's Otago Daily Times .

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Updated : August 6, 2004 0:49

Article thanks to Andy (Hayley Westenra World). Not for reproduction without prior permission



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