"MY FAVOURITE HYMNS"
ITV 7th March 2004
as a great surprise to see Hayley on television this morning
as I am not aware that her name had appeared in any of the television
schedules and it was only by chance that I saw it at all.
Hymns” is presented by John Stapleton. In today’s programme,
he interviewed Tsakane Valentine and Geoff Sewell from the opera
band Amici Forever. For those of you who have never seen it,
the idea is that guests speak about their lives and careers
and, in doing so, nominate their favourite hymns which are then
shown. The format was very informal and made very pleasant viewing
(yes, I am an admirer of Amici Forever).
A few minutes
into the programme it became clear that, despite it being March,
we were about to be treated to a rendition of “Silent Night”.
What wasn’t mentioned, however, was the name of the artist who
would be performing it. Here, then, was the surprise. Suddenly
Hayley was on the screen and her amazing voice filled the room.
Admittedly it was merely an excerpt from the Christmas Eve concert
from Manchester Cathedral but it was nice to see it being broadcast
A few minutes
of further discussion followed until they cut to a shot inside
an unnamed cathedral which looked like Manchester (which is
where this programme is made) for a performance of “Amazing
Grace” and we saw Hayley again.
was an array of floral decorations and lighted candles. The
latter were used to dramatic effect when a long shot of Hayley
was seen between them. The camera then slowly zoomed in on her
until the candles, now enlarged on either side of the screen,
were greatly out of focus, creating a frame of golden light
for the close-up image of Hayley.
this song, we never saw anyone other than Hayley and you could
imagine her being alone in the cathedral except for the accompaniment
from the organ. The simple arrangement enabled the listener
to concentrate exclusively on Hayley’s voice which, as ever,
was a joy to hear. Every note was crystal clear and every word
perfectly pronounced. Her tonal quality, expression and voice
control with minimal but perfect vibrato was sublime.