Katherine Jenkins @ Birmingham Symphony Hall – 30th January 2012

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Opera star singleton Katherine Jenkins doesn’t visit Birmingham very often, and it was time for her emotional return to the fabulous Symphony Hall. Katherine who recently split from boyfriend Gethin Jones wanted to make sure that her fans knew just how much their support means to her. “I haven’t been happy in a long time and on stage I am at my happiest.” Promoting her new album daydream the 31 year old certainly wants the show to go on. The mezzo soprano announced that she could have “sang all night”. Instead she sang “I want to dance all night” from My Fair Lady. Katherine sang everything form contemporary style to classic opera and provided a great night’s entertainment.

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Amongst the highlights of the night was the song that Katherine busked through to get her recording contract, the French vibreto original version of “I dreamed a dream.” There was everything from Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” to “L’Alba Verra” and “Over the Rainbow” to the show-stopping encore performance of “Time To Say Goodbye.” However it did seem strange when accompanied by American singer Nathan Pacheco to not perform the encore together. Nevertheless the duo performed a great rendition of “Tonight” from West Side Story and in my opinion Nathan stole the show with the classic “Nessun Dorma.”

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Sporting four “frocks” Jenkins is in her prime and at the top of her career. Katherine engaged well with the audience throughout the night. To mark her Birmingham visit Jenkins organised an opportunity for the fans to send her a note in the interval, either a song request or something to “make her laugh”. This brought great amusement to the night and led too an invitation for a dinner for two at Greggs and a marriage proposal!

The National Symphony Orchestra were in town to accompany the vocalists and what a marvellous job they did, led by charismatic character Anthony Inglis, who is more than used to symphony halls. Throughout the show the orchestra performed different pieces while Jenkins was changing her frocks, which was a definite crowd pleaser as it showed off the orchestra well.

Katherine Jenkins received a standing ovation after ending the night with timeless classic “Time To Say Goodbye” – thoroughly professional to the end, Katherine gave it her all and so did Pacheco. It has to be said his voice is a little lighter than Jenkins but his performances of “Danny Boy” and “Nessun Dorma” were great. If you look at Katherine’s previous albums her songs are either about love or heartbreak and “that was her problem” so maybe the heartbreak will influence her to explore different styles, but it doesn’t need to as Jenkins is one of the most successful female artists in Britain, and Birmingham will look forward to her return.

Review – John Kirby
Photos – Ken Harrison

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