Hayley Westenra


http://www.hayleywestenra.com/
Hayley Westenra is a New Zealand-born soprano who has taken the world by storm with her accessible yet challenging delivery of a huge range of repertoire, from classical favourites to folk song and pop. She was no stranger to the stage from early childhood: she began performing when she was just 6 years old and made her first recording in a professional studio at 12.

She was still only 16 when in 2003 she released her double-platinum selling debut international CD, Pure. It rapidly became the fastest-selling debut album from a classical artist, and reached the Top 10 of the pop charts in 11 countries. Her albums have sold more than four million copies worldwide to date. “Pure” was certified by the official UK chart compilers as the best selling classical album of the 21st Century.

Her huge popularity and approachability have brought many opportunities, including offers to perform for royalty and Heads of State, including HM The Queen and former President George Bush. She is also UNICEF’s youngest-ever ambassador, an energetic supporter, both in awareness and financially, and after enormous success with her ‘Bikes For Ghana Appeal’ Hayley revisited Ghana in 2008 where she started work on her second project; building water pumps, for locals who lack a safe supply of clean water. Hayley is extremely proud to be the first-ever official ambassador of Classic FM Music Makers.

But it’s the mesmerising appeal of her music which has provided the platform for her other endeavours. Although she's thoroughly at home in the classical repertoire, that only tells a fraction of her story.

Hayley has performed at a great many prestigious sporting events around the world, which have included football (the FA Cup Final, in The European Champions League) baseball (the NBA in the US), Tennis (The Mercedes Cup in Los Angeles). She still maintains, however, that her proudest duty is singing the New Zealand anthem in support of her beloved All Blacks rugby team.

Hayley is in great demand as a duet partner and has sung with, among others, Jose Carreras, Bryn Terfel and Andrea Bocelli and toured with Il Divo. PBS recorded an hour long “Great Performances” TV Special in New Zealand, so successful that it another was recorded in October 2006 during a tour to Canada.

2008 saw Hayley awarded the Global Kiwis Young Achiever Award. The Award was established to recognise a young Kiwi under the age of 35 who has made an outstanding contribution to their field. In the spring Hayley performed at and was nominated for Best Album at the Classical BRIT Awards. November saw Elaine Paige present Hayley with the Variety Club Showbiz Awards 2008 Classical Performer of the Year. Hayley rounded off 2008 with the release of her River of Dreams Album followed by her River Of Dreams Tour, in between jetting off to Iraq on a Hercules where she was greatly honoured to have launched the Royal British Legion’s renowned Poppy Appeal, live from Basra. In July 2009 she was delighted to attend the CIPR Awards as the Royal British Legion collected its third consecutive excellence award for their accomplishment in the live launch of the Poppy Appeal.

Hayley’s 2009 started with a sold out UK Valentines tour, where she performed alongside star tenor Jonathan Ansell before a trip to Japan to tour her River Of Dreams album release there. Whilst visiting Japan, Hayley’s second Japanese album went gold in Taiwan.

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