It's no wonder that this concert sold out so quickly. Katherine Jenkins isn't a second-rate "pop" singer who relies solely on aggressive marketing for her fame – she has everything and deserves every bit of her tremendous popularity.
Her opening songs demonstrated her lack of snobbishness – she was bringing opera to the masses. "I Who Have Nothing', Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro" and "Somewhere" from West Side Story filled the auditorium with her glorious, powerful voice. She was dressed in pure white, and her eye-catching figure and refreshing naturalness caught the imagination. As a gentle breeze lightly ruffled her long blonde hair, the audience was transfixed.
As the evening progressed, her other numbers included tasters from Bizet's Carmen, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Pie Jesu, a medley of Welsh songs, including "All Through the Night", "Bread of Heaven" and "Men of Harlech" and a cheeky version of Tom Jones's "Delilah".
She later got into a glittering, silky black dress for Augustin Lara's "Granada", Michael Kamen's "Requiem for a Soldier", and Lerner and Loewe's "I Could Have Danced All Night".
Finally, she changed into a lilac outfit that raised cheers from the audience for Pietro Mascagni's "Sancta Maria", a classical arrangement of Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" – sung in Italian – and Francesco Sartori's "Time to Say Goodbye".
The glorious ending brought forth a great feeling of patriotic fervour with Jenkins at one stage draped in the Welsh flag, her rich voice sounding out the words to Arne's "Rule Britannia", Parry's "Jerusalem", "Land of Hope and Glory" and "We'll Meet Again".
Blake, an up-and-coming group of four male singers – Jules Knight, Dom Tighe, Ollie Baines and Stephen Bowman – were the perfect match for Jenkins. They had well-matched, manly voices and their songs were tastefully arranged. The highlights included "Hallelujah", "God Only Knows" and "Moon River". They were supported by the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis. The orchestra produced a full-bodied, wholesome sound, and performed a number of short and entertaining pieces on its own as well as providing impeccable and colourful support for the singers. This was indeed a unique and unforgettable experience.
Rosemary Westwell, writer, Ely
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