Pure Winter Tour 2004 - Part 2 - Hayley in Cardiff

Showdate: Saturday, November 13th 2004

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Hayley Westenra
Hayley in Cardiff

13th November, 2004

WINTER TOUR 2004 - Part 2


Apart from being a wonderful concert, this was to be the biggest gathering yet of the HWI team and its associates. There were fifteen of us including a wonderful young soprano from Newport, our friend Holly Holyoake and her parents Trixie and Craig. Keith and Simon and his wife, Shirley, were there of course as were Gerrit from Holland, Gary from America, Chris who had just got back on leave from his duties in Iraq, Dave and his daughter Emma, Lewis and Doreen who had travelled down from Edinburgh, Kirsty and me. Most of us sat together in the third and fourth rows. And so we resume the concert with Hayley’s third song (after a brief recap)…..

Tonight, “Amazing Grace” was wonderful and, when the piano came in at the beginning of the second verse, it was apparent that Hayley’s pitch had been spot on.

I was still feeling very emotional having just heard “River Of Dreams” which for some reason literally brought tears to my eyes on this occasion. So much so that I ended up holding Kirsty’s hand for a few minutes.

“Who Painted the Moon Black” is another of my favourites. When a song is as familiar as this one is to me, you might think that there is nothing more to be derived from hearing it again. You’d be wrong. Just sit there and listen to Hayley sing it live – it is utterly captivating.

Hayley then introduced her guest, the Greek tenor, Mario Frangoulis. Now I admit I had never previously heard his voice and I knew very little about him. What can I say? He totally and immediately won the hearts of everyone in the Cardiff audience, as he had the previous night in Birmingham. During his first set, he performed three songs commencing with the ever-popular “Granada”. One of the huge bonuses of going to every concert of this tour is the thought that I will have the pleasure of seeing Mario on five further occasions. From time to time, he made ad lib comments which were often quite amusing. I am sure that many people in the audiences throughout this tour will be seeking his CDs in the coming weeks. I will be one of them.

I will write further details of the concert when I continue the tour in Edinburgh.

Before tonight’s concert began, it had been announced that Hayley would be signing CDs and programmes afterwards. Consequently the queue this time was massive. However, the time passed quickly for all of us as we chatted amongst ourselves and with Gerald and Steve (Hayley’s manager). When everyone else had gone, Hayley was confronted with us lot! More autographs and photographs were given and we all spent quite a while with her.

I noticed some movement amongst our happy throng. Although I was unaware of what had been suggested, I could see what was about to happen. I almost ran towards Kirsty who was standing back a little way talking to Trixie. I knew she wouldn’t want to miss this. “Stand by” I almost shouted at her!

Kirsty stepped forward asking eagerly “what is it?”

“I think we’re about to get a duet”, I explained.

Sure enough, a few minutes later we were treated to one of those occasions that are just too beautiful for words. For me, it was not only a highlight of the tour but of a lifetime – Hayley and Holly singing the “Ave Maria”. Oh heaven! Those two girls who can both sing so beautifully can lift the spirit so much for anyone who is fortunate enough to listen. But bring them together for a spontaneous recital like this and the result is absolutely out of this world.

Many of us were lined up with cameras just a few feet in front of them as they sang. What a wonderful moment to treasure.

A few minutes later, I passed my camera to Steve who took a shot of me with Hayley. I then saw an opportunity too good to miss and signalled to Steve to take another one…. Only this time I had one arm around Hayley and the other around Kirsty! As Hayley would say, oh wow!

I mentioned to Hayley that she had not given the cue for Kirsty to shout, “you’ll be fine” because, although she had announced having completed her exams, she did not mention the bit about waiting for the results. Of course, this was to be Kirsty’s last concert and so it was agreed that, in Edinburgh, I will do it! Mmm. We shall see!

Kirsty was to spend the night at her brother’s who lives in Cardiff and, for her, the tour was over. [It won’t be the same without you, darling.] I will be meeting Keith at some of the remaining concerts and with Lewis in Edinburgh but, other than that, I will be continuing the tour alone.

And so the first leg of the tour is done. I am now briefly back home in Sussex but will be heading off for Edinburgh first thing tomorrow morning.

Roger Mansbridge
14th November, 2004

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