Westenra: 'I get it, you don't like me'

Last updated 11:07 21/11/2011

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LATEST: Golden girl Hayley Westenra has hit back after a scathing review of her Christchurch homecoming concert.

Press critic David Sell said the songbird was "bland" and her interpretations "lacking in musical insight" in last night's show.

Westenra responded on Twitter this morning: "EVERY time I come home to ChCh to do a concert I wake up the next day to a bad review from David Sell. Mr Sell, I get it, you don't like me."

The performance was one of 10 shows around the country to mark the 10th anniversary of her career kicking off and her latest album Paradiso.

Sell was underwhelmed.

"Hayley Westenra was just Hayley, a little older, and with a few more songs in her repertoire.

"It was difficult to know whether she still has a lovely voice, because the amplification was so consistently high as to destroy any quality and variety that may have been there.

"She still sings perfectly in tune, but her musical interpretations are as bland and lacking in musical insights as ever.

"One only needed to look at the grossly overpriced "programme" to see that the emphasis is almost entirely on Hayley Westenra the person," Sell said.

"She has been so talked up to be a star that many, including herself, believe it."

Sell said the one feature that made this concert worth going to was Chase Douglas.

"He is a young singer with a voice that has everything to promise him a brilliant future. But more than that, he is musical to the core.

"Chase's association with the Paradiso tour is a convenience that he was sensible to go along with for the publicity and exposure that a countrywide audience gives.

"Musically, he is so far ahead of the general standard of Paradiso that I look forward to his next moves in the profession where he can really assert his superior musicianship.

"I was impressed also with the musical backing, and the direction of Timothy Evans. Youthfulness was the key here. They, with Chase Douglas, lifted the performances out of an otherwise threatened evening of boredom."

Westenra has sold more than 4 million albums, performed with the likes of Andrea Bocelli and Jose Carreras and sung for the Queen and various other world leaders.

Earlier this year, Westenra said she had always dreamed of being a successful singer.

"Every time I get up on stage it just feels right and it feels like it's where I am supposed to be."

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- The Press

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