Monday, 11 May 2015

Whatever happened to . . .

Hayley Westenra?

You don't know Hayley?  Well, she's a New Zealand crossover singer who was signed up by a record company at the age of 12 (she's now 28).  Described as a 'demure singer with a sweetheart face', she had the fastest-selling debut classical album of all time at the tender age of 16.  I first saw her on television when she performed in the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall many years ago (well, it seems many years to me), singing Pokarekare Ana.  I recall thinking that she had a good voice, but what a pity it was that her diction was so poor.  It was only later that I discovered the song is in Maori!

Last Saturday there was a concert held on Horse Guards parade in London to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day and when Katherine Jenkins and Alfie Boe sang We'll Meet Again I was reminded of the time Hayley Westenra had sung that song at another Festival of Remembrance, since when I don't think I have heard anything of her.  That was back in 2009 - and here it is, copied from YouTube, and with Dame Vera Lynn topping and tailing the video.

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