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THERE are few people who have crossed the musical divide quite as effortlessly and successfully as Katherine Jenkins.
The instantly likeable and strikingly beautiful Welsh mezzo soprano has broken down the elitist walls often associated with classical music inviting a whole new audience of uninitiated listeners into the fold.
Six albums in, the 28-year-old has become a mainstay not only at the top of the classical charts but also in the upper echelons of the mainstream album top 10 – an occurrence almost unheard of before she broke onto the scene six years ago.
And this June Katherine will be sharing her undeniable talent with thousands of people at Delamere Forest as part of a double header of Forest Commission concerts.
She explained: “I did two Forest Commission gigs last year and they were so much fun so I’m really looking forward to doing some more.
“I think when people go to indoor concerts it’s much more formal and it can be quite intimidating but with open air concerts, people come wearing whatever they want with a blanket and a picnic. They are just sat on the grass and that is how I would like my music to be listened to.”
Since signing with Universal Records in 2003, Katherine has sung in some of the world’s most famous venues including Sydney Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall.
But it is the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, only 40 miles from her hometown of Neath, that she holds closest to her heart.
“I’ve been singing there since 2003 and not only do I get to sing but I also get to watch the games, it’s perfect,” she exclaimed in her infectiously cheery voice.
She has been entertaining the forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has garnered the tag of the modern day ‘forces sweetheart’.
With such obvious cross genre appeal would she ever consider following Charlotte Church into the world of pop music?
“I’d love to do a collaboration with someone who wasn’t obvious like Coldplay or Kanye West but I would have to keep my own style. You can never say never.”
● Katherine Jenkins with the National Symphony Orchestra will be performing at Delamere Forest on Sunday June 14. Call 01842 814612, or go online at forestry.gov.uk/music.