Hayley Dee Westenra (Born
10th April 1987)
The Singing Sensation from Christchurch, New Zealand.
Hayley was 6 years old her infant school teacher, chose her to sing the
lead role of the little star in the Christmas play. The teacher most
have known something that her parents didn’t at the time, that Hayley
had perfect pitch, within ten years of that first star spot in the
limelight, the Christchurch born prodigy had become one of the world’s
biggest singing sensations.
Classically trained as both a singer and as a dancer, she is a former member of the New Zealand Royal Ballet. Hayley's voice is an operatic instrument and she has performed with the New Zealand Opera and Orchestra. She made her recording debut at the age of 14 with a self-titled collection that took her country by storm.
Hayley has performed to audiences including the Queen (3 times in one week!) Tony Blair and George Bush, and to her many fans at the Sydney Opera House, Wembley Stadium, the Royal Albert Hall and Carnegie Hall, and the Cadogan Hall at the Children Helping Children Concert When she was only 15 years old she signed up with Decca in London to produce her first official album called “Pure” which sold faster than any other classical album debut in the UK. and sold 19,068 copies in its first week alone. It was twelve times platinum in her native New Zealand, triple platinum in this country, and platinum in Australia, and Japan where it became the best selling classical record in the country’s history, quite an achievement! Hayley is very big in Japan and has toured there many times and she has released some albums which are only available there, needless to say I have all of them in my CD collection, all of them signed by Hayley too.
Hayley’s third album called "Treasure" which she dedicated to her wonderful Nanna, Shirley Ireland, was released last year, it features traditional songs from New Zealand and Ireland, where her family came from originally, they immigrated to New Zealand in 1850 that must have been quite a long and interesting journey by boat at the time, it is still a long way if you go by plane nowadays. The album had some interpretations of popular arias, which have stood the test of time, and include Danny Boy, Abide with me and Shenandoah, and the haunting Santa Lucia.
Hayley studies singing with Inez Russell when she is in London. She is one of the youngest ever ambassadors for the children’s charity UNICEF, she has been to Ghana, where she set up a charity called Hayley’s Bikes for Ghana, a very well worthwhile charity that has provided 6,000 bikes for children in Ghana, so they can go to school and find a better future.
In her own Voice
ISBN 10: 1905264208
Hard Back £16.99
ISBN 13: 9781905264209
If you want to learn more about Hayley pick up a copy of her Autobiography, it is well worth reading. At only twenty years old, Hayley is the fastest selling debut classical artist ever.
I have read it several times.