Singer Westenra To Perform At Earthquake Memorial

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March 13, 2011 | 7:50pm EST

Soprano Hayley Westenra will pay tribute to earthquake victims in her New Zealand hometown on Friday by singing the national anthem at a memorial service attended by British royal Prince William.
The opera singer was in London when her native Christchurch was devastated by a 7.1-magnitude earthquake last month, killing more than 160 people.

She received a personal request from New Zealand’s Prime Minister John Key to perform at the city’s memorial service, where the prince is expected to address the congregation.

Meanwhile, Westenra has unveiled details about Quake Aid, a star-studded benefit concert she’s organising to raise much-needed funds for the local community as residents try to rebuild their lives in the wake of the tragedy.

She said, “Putting on these concerts is the best way I know to help – it’s my way of giving back to the city that means so much to me.”

Westenra scrapped a scheduled tour of New Zealand in order to plan the charity show. It will take place in Auckland in August, with all proceeds going to earthquake relief.

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