Katherine Jenkins on staying silent on tour ahead of Ipswich show
PUBLISHED: 14:12 17 December 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 24 December 2018
Katherine Jenkins OBE is Britain’s best-selling classic artist of the last 25 years and is set to bring her new tour to Ipswich in 2019.
The songstress is no stranger to Suffolk and has performed in stately homes across East Anglia, at Latitude Festival in Southwold on a number of occasions and also has family that live in Ipswich and near Bury St Edmunds.
Katherine talks about her new album Guiding Light, which includes songs from Stormzy to The Greatest Showman, why she thinks there are so many good Welsh singers and the reason she doesn’t speak between shows.
Have you been to Ipswich before and do you like the area?
I’ve actually been here lots of times and I have family that live near Bury St Edmunds and Shimpling and Ipswich.
It’s a part of the world I know really well and it is lovely to come back here as it is so beautiful.
I have lived in London since I was 18 but I am drawn more to the countryside parts of the UK.
Why did you decide to make the Guiding Light album and what songs are included?
It’s my third album in four year and a lot has changed - I’ve got married and had two children and I just felt like in my personal life I’m settled, happy and thankful and that was a sentiment I wanted to take into the studio.
I always have traditional hymns and classic songs but I like to have a couple of wildcard songs in there too.
People love The Greatest Showman and I’ve also covered Blinded By Your Grace by Stormzy which I thought was very spiritual.
My version is almost unrecognisable and has orchestral accompaniment and choir and my daughter says blinded by your grace at the end.
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Do you enjoy going on tour and what can people expect?
My shows are always about the music and I will be joined by the London Concert Orchestra.
People pay their hard-earned money and I want to entertain them to the best of my ability so I play songs from all the albums and new material too.
I like to stop in between songs with anecdotes and audience requests, for example if someone is celebrating a special occasion, and I always have so much fun.
It has been widely reported that you don’t speak between shows, why is that?
The voice is a muscle and when you speak or whisper your vocal chord vibrates and the only way to rest it is not speak.
If you were doing a marathon you would put your feet up to rest your leg and it is the same with your voice.
I don’t find it hard anymore and it is quite relaxing - my husband jokes that it is a dream!
What does it feel like performing for people like the Pope and Queen and how did it feel to be made an OBE in 2014?
Any of those occasions you realise it is such a massive moment but you have to stay calm, no matter how many times I perform for the Queen I still get nervous as I’m such a fan.
I didn’t expect to be made an OBE but what made it special for me was the fact it was for my music and charity work with the forces - I’m really proud of my connection to the military.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and who is the best person you’ve performed with?
I sang at a New Year’s Eve concert at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and there was one million people in the street and I couldn’t see the end of them and it was overwhelming.
I’ve performed with was Plácido Domingo who was one of The Three Tenors and also Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel who sings on my album.
I first sang with Bryn when I was 15 in a choir and he was guest soloist and I asked for an autograph so it is amazing I got to sing with him when I was older.
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Is it different going on tour when you have young children?
It means I have to be more careful as I can’t go and do long international tours until they are bit bigger.
But I take them to the UK ones when it is convenient and I will definitely bring them to Ipswich.
Why are there so many good Welsh singers?
I thin there is a technical reason as when you are a singer you always stress the vowel so with the Welsh accent you naturally have a bit of a head start.
We also love to sing everywhere, the pub, rugby - people aren’t embarrassed to sing and give it some welly.
An Evening With Katherine Jenkins comes to the Ipswich Regent on May 23 2019.