Pure Winter Tour 2004 - Part 4 - Hayley in Llandudno

Showdate: Wednesday, November 17th 2004_

News Menu Button Scans Menu Button Concerts Menu Button Reviews Menu Button Galleries Manu Button Television Menu Button Biography Menu Button Albums Menu Button Audio Multimedia Menu Button Video Multimedia Menu Button Contact Us Button Other Websites Button Legal Stuff Button Wallpapers and Screensavers Button Homepage 2004

Hayley Westenra
Hayley in Cardiff

17th November, 2004

WINTER TOUR 2004 - Part 4


I met Keith at 4 o’clock and we waited inside the Stage Door for some time. As various members of the orchestra arrived, we pressed the button beside the door to let them in! When Ben Foster (the conductor) arrived, to my astonishment, he said, “thank you, Roger! Fame at last! We also let in Mario Frangoulis and, eventually, Steve, Gerald and Hayley!

Is it possible that these concerts are getting better and better? Yes, it is. It began, as it had done in Edinburgh, with Pachelbel’s Canon. Soon after this came a brief interruption. After her first song, Hayley made the usual announcement about having recently completed her exams and that she would have to wait until February for the results. But this time she added, “so I’m a little nervous”. This was my cue.

“You’ll do fine”, I shouted in full voice! Amid mild laughter from the audience, Hayley giggled and said, “oh, thanks”, as though it had been a spontaneous reaction from an anonymous member of the audience. I later suggested to Hayley that it had been a bit of fun to do once but that I would not repeat the performance at future concerts. Hayley agreed but then said, “oh, you can if you like”! After this, the programme continued as it had on previous nights until shortly before the interval. I can now reveal what Steve and Hayley had told me a few nights earlier in Edinburgh. (Yes, I know that others have said it but this is MY version!)….

Towards the end of the first half, Hayley explained that she had sung with Holly Holyoake in the foyer of St David’s Hall in Cardiff in front of about fifteen people. She thought it would be nice to repeat the song now for the benefit of the Llandudno audience. There was an immediate chorus of oohs and ahs in approval of this unexpected item. Holly was introduced and together they performed the most beautiful rendition of Bach’s “Ave Maria” that you could ever wish to hear. They sang unaccompanied (as they had done in Cardiff) and their voices in unison combined so perfectly and sounded absolutely gorgeous. I found myself concentrating alternately on Hayley’s voice, then on Holly’s and then on the angelic combination. It was a truly memorable and joyous occasion and it was well worth the journey to North Wales just to hear this. Thank you so much, Hayley, for inviting Holly to share your stage and for giving so many people the opportunity to hear her. Holly thoroughly enjoyed it (as we all did) and I saw a number of people asking for her autograph in the foyer afterwards.

When I was in Northampton the following evening, someone told me that he hoped Holly would achieve the success in the music industry that she deserves. That came from the conductor, Ben Foster! In my eyes, Holly, you are already a star and it is a pleasure to know you.

And so we pick up the concert where we left it in Edinburgh – at the beginning of the second half. The orchestra took their places. All eyes were looking in anticipation of Hayley’s re-appearance but it didn’t happen. Instead, Fiona Pears, who plays first violin, moved to the centre of the stage. She opened with a jazz number entitled “Turkish Fantasy” which was amazing. It was a stunning performance which commanded the attention of the audience right from the first note. Her second piece, if it is possible, was even more impressive. Entitled “Memories of Martin and Mary”, it was a magnificent arrangement of a series of jigs and reels. As the piece progressed, Fiona began dancing around the stage as she played. The tempo changed time and again until the bow was moving so fast that it was barely visible. By now, the audience was clapping along and stamping their feet in time to the music. After the first two concerts, Kirsty had commented how effective the dancing was; a sentiment that I passed on to Fiona when I spoke to her in Edinburgh. It seems she took notice because every night since then, she has danced with ever-increasing energy and enthusiasm. She also calls out “yeah” on two occasions to the rest of the musicians. Each night, this gets louder and louder. Last night, she absolutely screamed it; the result was electrifying and the audience went wild. Everyone present, including the orchestra, clearly love Fiona’s dazzling performance. I guess that’s why I bought her two CDs!

When Hayley returned to the stage, she explained that Fiona comes from Christchurch (what is it about that place?) and said that she had composed both numbers that were still ringing in our ears. Phenomenal!

Hayley then continued with “Beat Of Your Heart” but let’s leave that and other aspects of this amazing adventure, until we reconvene in Northampton.

Roger Mansbridge
19th November 2004

View Accompanying Image

Yahoo! Groups Links

To visit the HWI group on the web, go to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:


Reveiws Menu 2004 | Concerts Menu 2004

Home Page

Thanks for visiting, we hope you find as much pleasure in viewing this site as we did in the making.

- The Hayley Westenra International Team -