Katherine Jenkins © venni

Katherine Jenkins: Still Shining Bright

With the release of her 12th album, former choir girl Katherine Jenkins tells Ting Dalton why she’s excited to be touring again after a four-year break

Welsh mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins is one busy woman. After giving birth to her second child, Xander, back in April 2018, Katherine was performing on stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall at the Classic Brit Awards just six weeks later.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she was also putting the finishing touches to her new album Guiding Light. Released at the end of last year, Katherine, who has been crowned the No.1 selling Classical Music Artist of the Last 25 Years – is about to embark on a new tour across the UK to showcase the tracks on this intimate album, which represents a deeply emotional journey that began when her father, Selwyn, died and Katherine then discovered a new path after becoming a mother for the first time.

Katherine, who is also mother to threeyear-old Aaliyah, her daughter with her artist and film producer husband Andrew Levitas, took some time out of her busy schedule to tell Ting Dalton more.

Your new album Guiding Light came out at the end of last year. How has it been received?

It’s had a really lovely reaction. Whenever I make an album, I’m always both nervous and excited to know what the fans think – that’s the most important thing to me.

It’s been so wonderful to hear such lovely comments back from the fans, it makes me really happy!

Where did the inspiration behind it come from?

It’s been four years since my last album, and in that time so much has happened. I got married, I’ve had two children and I feel very thankful, happy and settled. I thought that was a nice vibe to take into the studio, so I wanted to make an album that wasn’t all about hitting all the high notes and showing which difficult songs I could sing. It’s all about the emotional music that touched my heart and I wanted to share that with the audience.

And are you looking forward to going on tour again?

I can’t wait. I love going on tour, it’s my favourite thing. As it’s been four years since the last tour, I’ve really missed it, so I can’t wait go out and to share the music with everyone again. I’ll be singing new songs from the album and some of the old favourites.

What’s your favourite part of performing live?

I love seeing how people react to the music. I always try and make my shows a big production by having a full orchestra with me, but I also like it to feel quite personal. One of the things that is important to me is having banter alongside the music, chatting in between the songs and interacting with the audience, so I can tell them the history of the song, an anecdote or a story. I love seeing people laugh one minute and then in the next moment, that they’ve been moved to tears by the music.

Do you still get nervous before going on stage?

No, I don’t actually. I’m pretty much as calm as I am now talking to you as I am on stage. I used to get very nervous as a young singer. In my teens I would definitely let the nerves get the better of me but thankfully I’ve learned that it doesn’t really help. When I signed to my label, the very first thing they asked me to do was to sing at the England/Wales rugby match to 74,000 people. I’ve never been so nervous but once I was out there, the crowd were singing Tom Jones Delilah and it just made me think I should enjoy the moment. I’d always wanted to do this, and ever since then I just thought it’s never going to be as nerve-racking as that moment.

How are you finding combining motherhood and work?

Well, it’s crazy, it’s brilliant and it’s full on, but I absolutely love it. Becoming a mum is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I feel very fortunate that I’m in a job where I can share my performances and have my children with me as much as possible. Every working mum will tell you that they haven’t quite mastered the juggling act but I’m doing my best and loving every second of it.

It’s been four years since my last album, and in that time so much has happened. I got married, I’ve had two children and I feel very thankful, happy and settled. I thought that was a nice vibe to take into the studio

Having been a runner-up in Dancing with the Stars back in 2012, do you still dance?

I haven’t danced for a while, but I definitely would again. Once you’ve learned it, I feel that you have a love for it and want to do more of it. I really enjoyed the experience. I made amazing friends and I think if another opportunity came up to dance, then I would.

What exciting projects or plans have you got for the rest of 2019?

I have got lots of concerts and touring this year – I am going to be performing in Argentina, Japan, America and other places that I can’t confirm yet but will be revealed soon!

Tell us your typical weekend at home…

I don’t have a regular, typical weekend. In my life no two days are ever the same, because I could be performing or my husband could be working, so we make sure that one of us is always with the children. A weekend could either be doing a concert on a Saturday, having rehearsals and performing that night, or Sunday could be waking up with the children, taking them for a walk in the local park and then going to our country pub for a big roast dinner. We live close to Surrey so I’m a little bit biased but I think Surrey is amazing for all those things! Those are some of my favourite times, having a day off with my children.

An Evening with Katherine Jenkins is at Guildford G Live on Monday 20 May. Her album ‘Guiding Light’ is out now.