Hayley appeared on July 28, 2004 as part of the Wisconsin Chamber
Orchestra's "Concerts on the Square" 2004 series.
I was able to attend this performance (wearing my stunning Hayley
Westenra International Sweatshirt), and this is my recollection
of the delightful evening.
arrived at the venue at 2:15 PM. The venue itself is the lawn
of the Wisconsin State Capitol, and the performance is held
on the Capitol Steps. I pitched a blanket on the lawn next to
a tree, left of center stage and waited...over four hours for
the concert to begin. Note the weather was absolutely perfect;
sunny, about 75 degrees (F) and a nice breeze.
few minutes after six, I looked up and there was Hayley, in
Jeans and Sunglasses performing sound checks with the orchestra.
With Camera in hand I was able to take a few pictures of this,
including a very nice full vertical shot. Even the sound check
was awesome. She was beautiful!
concert then started promptly at 7:00 PM with the Orchestra
performing an instrumental piece Ravel's "Minuet Antique".
The orchestra was excellent, and the conductor, Mr. Andrew Sewell
(he, himself a KIWI), was perfect.
then came onstage after the first number, wearing a pretty,
simple green patterned dress. She then sang Bach/Gounod's "Ave
Maria". The audience was transfixed on the large sound
coming from this very small young woman! She performed flawlessly
and efortlessly, like it was second nature for her to be there.
next number was Andrew Lloyd-Webber's "All I Ask of You"
She performed this number as a duet with James Doing, a faculty
member in the School of Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Their voices blended cleanly and clearly, diction was excellent
and the audience was again popping their eyes out in disbelief
at what they were hearing.
then sang Ravel's "Never Say Goodbye". Her tenderness
in tone and voice on this number was clear, and I was almost
in tears. Hayley was standing a mere 15 yards or less in front
of me, singing her heart out!
orchestra then performed an instrumental number to give Hayley
a rest; Ravel's "Rigaudon". I must admit the music
sounded great, but this was when I was seeking Hayley to get
my CD autographed. She had sat down next to the stone railing
not 15 feet in front of me. A little girl with her CD in hand
moved towards her and not to be left out I followed her in!
Glory be, what a wonderful, divine, beautiful young lady! I
still shudder in awe at meeting Hayley and getting that autograph.
It was truly an enchanted evening.
then closed the first act by singing Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Time
to Say Goodbye" as a duet with James. Their voices blended
harmoniously, the orchestration was excellent and the audience
intermission, the Orchestra opened the second act with Ravel's
"Prelude from Le Tombeau de Couperin".
Another outstanding performance by this wonderful and talented
then came out for the second half in a flowing ball type gown
that had silver all over it. She looked like a princess! Her
first number was Vivaldi's "River of Dreams". Again,
she nailed this song perfectly, the audience was so under her
spell by then that you could look about anywhere and see them
wide eyed and in awe!
ended her portion of the main program with an excellent performance
of Amazing Grace. I suspect there were tears of sheer joy coming
from the audience. They sure were from me.
orchestra ended the second act with Tchaikovsky "Capricco
Italien, OP 45". Conductor Sewell was brillant in his direction
of the very talented musicians performing this difficult number.
numerous curtain calls, Hayley came back for an encore. She
sang first "Who Painted the Moon Black" I could only
stand there in pure amazement watching her, so beautiful, so
poised, so talented knocking the socks off of the audience with
this performance. Next she sang "Pokarekare Ana" which
she explained to them was a Maori (Native New Zealand) love
song. By then the audience was overwhelmed by the talents of
this gorgeous young lady!
program ended with James and Hayley reprising Andrew Lloyd Webber's
"Time to Say Goodbye". Sadly, it was. The audience
was on it's feet, I personally was crying tears of pure joy
and I don't believe I will ever experience something as powerful
as this again as long as I live (unless I go see Hayley somewhere
the program was over, young girls flooded to the left side of
the stage where Hayley sat down, and she immediately turned
her attention to them, giving them autographs and signing CD's.
I took my last picture of her during that time, a tight close-up
that I hope Keith will be putting up on HWI (along with this
ends the evening in Madison. Pure Enchantment. And so it was!
Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight and Defender of the Universe.
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