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Cadogan Hall, Sloane Square, London
Cadogan Hall Interior
Review by Richard Norrington

I'm still in the clouds following a fantastic night last night, but I can't wait to write a little review.

I was at Cadogan Hall well before the show was due to start, and I had the pleasure of welcoming pianist Ian Tilley and violinist Fiona Pears when they arrived. About half an hour later Hayley arrived and recognised me, and as usual she stopped for a quick chat. Soon afterwards other members of HWI appeared - Peter, Steve, Stuart, Roger and finally Dave.

After the photocall which Dave captured, the concert began with a talk about Global Angels by the charity's founder, Molly Bedingfield. Then the music began with Fiona Pears on the violin, accompanied by an eight-piece string orchestra and Ian Tilley on piano. She started with two of her own compositions, a lively Irish jig titled 'Memories of Martin and Mary', followed by a slower piece, 'Far Away'. She finished her short set with a Russian dance tune, 'Dark Eyes'. Fiona was in her usual sparkling form, and it was a terrific start to the show that had the audience spellbound.

Next came mezzo-soprano Juliette Pochin. Her set included an aria from Carmen and her own vocal arrangement of 'Winter' from Vivaldi's 'Four Seasons'. She had a good voice, and won warm applause from the audience.

After a short interval, a trio called Tenors Unlimited sang two songs, but I didn't note the titles. They harmonised perfectly together and went down very well with the audience, especially the ladies! Then there was an auction which seemed to go on for ever. It raised a few thousand pounds, but I didn't join in the bidding! Tenors Unlimited then returned for another song, which restored the mood before the star of the show took the stage.

Hayley looked stunning in a glittering gold dress. She was accompanied by the string orchestra and Ian Tilley on piano. She opened with the vocalise version of 'Pokarekare Ana', then Fiona Pears joined her for a beautiful version of 'The Water Is Wide', which almost put the whole audience in a trance. Hayley then sang a more up-tempo song, 'The Mummers' Dance', which is featured on the Australian bonus CD edition of 'Pure'. It was the first time I had ever heard Hayley sing it live, and for me it was the real highlight of the whole concert. She then sang 'In Trutina' from 'Carmina Burana' before Tenors Unlimited joined Hayley to close the show with the Maori lullaby 'Hine e Hine'. It was a magnificent performance by Hayley which won her a standing ovation.

There was a reception for Hayley after the concert, but first she came out from the stage door to meet us all, and she stopped for about ten minutes. Lots of photographs were taken, and hopefully some of these will appear on the forum shortly.

Finally I must thank Hayley, Fiona and Ian for making it such a wonderful experience. It was definitely a night to remember!

It was my twelfth time to see and meet Hayley, and now I'm looking forward to seeing her again at Wisley Gardens tomorrow evening. Luckily I'm not superstitious!


source : hwi
credits : richard norrington
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