AHEAD OF the 77th Eisteddfod, we spoke to headline artist Katherine Jenkins to find out what she is looking forward to the most.

This year's Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod has promised to be bigger and better than ever before.

Katherine Jenkins is officially the world's most successful classical singer after being crowned 'The Biggest Selling Classical Artist of the Century' by Classic FM.

In a sensational 20-year career, the 43-year-old Welsh singer has smashed the record books by achieving 14 Number 1 albums and performed for thousands including serving British troops overseas, as well as Popes, Presidents and Princes.

Closing this year's Llangollen Eisteddfod, OBE Katherine Jenkins spoke to the Leader about what we can expect.

We're thrilled that you're returning to the Eisteddfod. When did you first perform in Llangollen? 

This is my third time here. We actually filmed my first concert at the Eisteddfod - it was my first ever DVD concert in Llangollen. I have really special memories performing here. I'm so thrilled to have been asked to close the 77th event. It's just a brilliant festival.

The area is so gorgeous. I've always been a fan of the ethos and messaging of the Eisteddfod created 1947, encouraging people to come together after the two World Wars, to unite them with music, and I think that message is more important now than ever. Thousands of people coming together from 32 countries to visit Wales is really, really special.

Will you have time to explore north Wales while you're here?

I'm bringing my children for the first time to Llangollen and they're really excited. I can come down the day before and show them around. We're also going to the top of Snowdonia!

Why is it so important to uphold Welsh traditions?

Growing up I was very lucky with the opportunities I had to perform at the Eisteddfod and with the Male Voice Choir. It's a part of our identity here in Wales and we must continue supporting these amazing events.

It's also wonderful to see that the line up has extended this year beyond Wales for the 77th event. It really shows Welsh influence on an International stage.

What are you most looking forward to about performing this year?

The atmosphere, especially at the Pavilion. At my concert, there's always an orchestra and choir which will be wonderful. We also have a tenor who hasn't been announced yet.

The overall influence in Wales makes it very special. I'm thrilled to be back.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects after the Eisteddfod?

I always look forward to continuing my performances and being on stage.

I'm also going to be involved in a new film as an executive producer alongside Sir Anthony Hopkins called 'The King of Convent Garden.'


I also have my own business 'Cygnet Gin' so together they will keep me very busy for the next 12 to 18 months.

Which achievement are you most proud of?

My family who give me so much enjoyment.

In terms of my career, it's hard to say. It's usually the most unexpected achievements such as singing for the Welsh Rugby team or flying to Camp Bastion in Afghanistan to meet the troops and perform. They're often the ones I look back on that make me emotional. It would be great to do more things like that in the future.