Katherine Jenkins makes emotional return to Llangollen

Reporter:

Rob Bellis

IT’S been another “crazy” year for Katherine Jenkins.

Unusually for the singer, who has become something of a household name, much of the first half of 2010 has involved promoting her award-winning work to audiences who may not have even heard of her.

Following a sold-out UK arena tour in March, the opera superstar, who performs a gala concert at Llangollen Eisteddfod on Monday, has been globetrotting to places where, she says, it felt like she was starting over again.

“This year has been crazy,” Katherine mused. “The album came out around the world so I’ve been going to new countries promoting it. I’ve just been in South America – Brazil and Argentina, it’s been like doing things again from the beginning.”

Was it strange for her not to be recognised as she is in Britain?

“I don’t feel in any way that people should know me but it’s like a fresh start, almost a new challenge,” she said. “Maybe, having made a seventh album, you could become complacent but this has really been an inspiration.”

However, the singer from Neath, South Wales, wasn’t quite as unknown as she had first supposed.

She had never been to Argentina before but her latest album, ‘Believe’, had already reached number one in the country.

“Argentina was a place I’d always wanted to go and visit,” Katherine said. “It was great there, the people were so amazing. Because the album went number one, people were coming up to me and asking for photos and I was saying of course, but how do you even know who I am?’”

Katherine’s latest release shows the singer’s versatility with a variety of contemporary and classic songs.

It was recorded in Los Angeles with producer David Foster (Josh Groban, Michael Buble), something the Welsh singer had been very excited about.

“Working with David was a dream come true and making the album with him was amazing,” she said. “I’m already thinking about the next one though.”

Now back in the UK, Katherine will be celebrating her 30th birthday – a milestone she is taking very much in her stride – with friends and family before she embarks on a series of summer shows, including the opening gala at Llangollen.

“This is my only concert in Wales this summer,” she said. “I performed at the Eisteddfod a few years ago and it was an amazing experience. Having done so much travelling recently, I think it’s going to be quite emotional.” Katherine is also looking forward to returning to a home crowd.

“It’s amazing,” she enthused. “I love coming home. I wouldn’t be in this position without the support of people in Wales and I am so grateful for that.”

So what can the audience expect from next week’s show?

“I’m still going to have the national symphony orchestra with me but the songs will be different,” she revealed.

“There will be a lot more crossovers, there will be something from all different aspects of the new album, Love Never Dies, The Godfather theme, Carmen, a few Welsh pieces of course and plenty of costume changes – I love that.”

Katherine Jenkins performs at the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s Opening Gala Concert on Monday night. For more details visit www.llangollen2010.co.uk.

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