I headed for the door as soon as I was able, mystified how such a performance could sell so widely and so well. It was immature stuff to be sure -- and that is surely the point -- but could the whole world be in love with childish, passionless dreck such as this? If innocence is all that you want in your singing, surely there have been far more accomplished performances than this? While the teenage look and sound may appeal to some, it's not at all my cup of cold beer.
For those who haven't already heard, at least one Christchurch reviewer feels the same after hearing Hayley in concert on Wednesday night, and Christchurch is in an uproar:
There is no disputing that Hayley Westenra has a lovely natural voice. But whether in fact, or due to the levelling effect of the ever-present microphone, it is a voice of little musical character. In fact, there were three voices, regardless of what she sang – a girlish upper voice, a bland lower voice, and a few notes in between that were always harsh and piercing...
Fiona Pears is too big a musician to deliberately upstage Hayley Westenra, but it was only when she played that the concert came to life. Her powerful natural ability as a violinist and uninhibited musical expression provided an excitement that even a somewhat restrained audience could not resist.
I left the hall sadly, wondering whether Hayley Westenra could sing softly, loudly, fast or really slowly, with passion, not to mention adult musical technique, or whether she will move out of her teens in a little over a year's time, having musically already done all she is capable of.
Lovely voice but is Odyssey at end of Hayley's musical road? - Press