just returned from the New York Pops concert at Bryant Park
in which Hayley was a special featured artist.
participation occured in the second half of the concert, after
being introduced by conductor Skitch Henderson as "Hayley
WesteRNa" -- ahem. He mentioned how special a place New
Zealand was and how remarkable Hayley was with youth on her
side and such a rare talent.
first offering was "Pokarekare Ana" which she delivered
in a calm but spirited voice that richly conveyed all the song's
feelings of longing and separation. Perhaps having to spend
so much time away from her homeland gives her a more poignant
take on this tune every time she sings it, so it felt to my
the applause quieted Hayley addressed the audience regarding
the song she just performed and then announced that her next
song would be Carl Orff's "In Trutina." Shifting into
a tender and ethereal tone, Hayley visited a haunting magic
to this aria that wasn't fully captured on her album. The gulf
between her astonishingly beautiful live voice and her merely
glorious recorded voice was never more apparent.
introduced her last song as "one you all know, arranged
by Sir George Martin who produced the Beatles and whose son
produced my album." An reverant hush took over the park
when she said the song's title, "Amazing Grace." The
orchestra played the first bar only to drop off gently as Hayley's
voice filled in, allowing her to sing a cappella for the remainder
of the opening verse. Clearly warmed up, she allowed more strength
and power into her tone as the song went on whilst sacrificing
none of the legendary purity.
being a New York free crowd there were appreciative whoops and
whistles that joined in with the applause as she took her bows.
A scattering of people stood to honor her for what was without
a doubt a masterful performance.
several of us including Steven Olivo, Natasha and her dad, Alena
and her hubby, and myself swung around to the "baskstage"
area where Hayley was signing autographs. The pics to come from
all of us will tell a story of a resplendent Hayley who, despite
getting only an hour's nap since her concert before 50,000 people
in Madison the night before, was more delightful, glamourous
and personable than ever.
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