QUIZ: HAYLEY WESTENRA
the world needs now? Not love, but more hot teen classical
singers like Hayley Westenra.
The 17-year-old New Zealand soprano has sold more than
2 million copies of her new album, "Pure,"
and will become a regular fixture on TV screens over
the next few weeks. She appears in the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade on Thursday, on the "Today" show
Dec. 3 and on "PBS Great Performances" throughout
Q: So your official biography
comes out this month. Is it, like, three pages long?
A: I know, it does seem
a bit crazy. But it's basically my whole childhood story,
and how I got where I am. Hopefully, there's more to
Q: Can you explain the
best part for illiterate people?
A: Well, I haven't read
it all yet. That's what I'm going to do on the tour.
Q: You don't need to read
it. You lived it.
A: Oh, right. Well, the
best part of my life was when I performed with Andrea
Bocelli earlier this year. When I was 11 years old,
I would sing along to his music, and I recorded a few
of his songs on my little demo CD. So to perform with
him was incredible. That was a major milestone. But,
really, it's been one thing after another.
Q: You performed for a
private audience than included George W. Bush, Tony
Blair and the queen. Did any of them have flames shooting
out of their eyes?
A: Um, I don't think so.
It was pretty surreal, though. The whole event had been
organized by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, and it was just
50 sitting in this room. It was all these familiar faces.
Q: You also worked with
Beatles producer Sir George Martin.
A: Yeah, I did. His son
Giles Martin was the producer of my album, so he came
in and listened to some of the stuff we were working
on. He ended up writing a song for my album and doing
Q: So he didn't spend the
whole time telling boring Ringo stories?
A: He didn't. So many people
ask me, "Did you hear any good stories about the
Q: Is it true that there
are no natural predators in New Zealand, so everyone
is into extreme sports like bungee jumping and shark
A: Yeah. Down in Queenstown
in the south island you can do all that. I don't know.
It's not really my thing. I do some rock climbing, but
it's not quite so extreme.
Q: Do you have a pet cheetah?
A: Oh, no, no, no.
Q: But you are going to
be in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Have you performed
around large cartoon characters before?
A: I haven't, no. It's
going to be quite an experience. Apparently, I'm on
the green dog float, whatever that means.
Q: Do you hate it when,
during the holidays, used-car commercials are all, "It's
turkey time for deals at San Jose Datsun?" I totally
Q: So are you going to
A: I'm not quite sure.
Apparently, no one sings live. But I think I'm a really
terrible lip-syncher, so I only do it when I have to,
which is hardly ever.
Q: Maybe you could do something
to make up for it. Are you a good dancer?
A: Well, I started ballet
dancing when I was 4 and did it till I was about 14.
I was pretty good at it. Now I feel like a big slob.
Q: Then what are you going
to do when your voice cracks?
A: I don't know. The choreographed
moves don't really match the classical music. But you
Aidin Vaziri at firstname.lastname@example.org.