NEWLY-single Katherine Jenkins admits that she’s finding it tough to get up on stage following her recent split from fiance Gethin Jones.
The Welsh beauty broke down in tears after the first song on the opening night of her tour last week, and she admits that she would have struggled to get up on stage had it not been for her “amazing” fans.
Ahead of her visit to the Edinburgh Playhouse tonight, the crossover opera superstar says she’s received heaps of support from well-wishers since she and Gethin decided to call off their engagement in December.
“I’ve had so much support from fans over the past few weeks,” says the beautiful blonde. “Everyone has been really amazing.
“I’ve had so many messages that have helped me. I don’t think I could have got up on stage without that.
“I got through [my shows], that’s the main thing. I actually really enjoyed it once I was up there. My fans have been so loyal, which is so lovely.”
The 31-year-old adds, “Being on stage is the happiest I’ve been in a long time. I hope that everyone can see I still really enjoy performing.”
Neath-born Jenkins first started singing when she was just four with a school rendition of Going Down The Garden To Eat Worms. At 13 she won the BBC Choirgirl of the Year competition and four years later landed a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she studied Italian, German, French and Russian, graduating with honours and receiving a music teacher’s diploma. After working as a freelance singing teacher, a tour guide on the London Eye and as a model, Jenkins entered a modelling competition and became the Face of Wales 2000. She then decided to follow a musical career.
The singer made a demo and, after Universal Classics and Jazz heard the recording, she was invited to an audition at which she sang Rossini’s Una Voce Poco Fa. Blown away by her talent, Universal offered the then 22-year-old a whopping £1 million, six-album deal - at the time the UK’s most lucrative classical recording contract - and she was told by her then manager, Brian Lane, that she would be “the first of a kind, the most glamorous opera singer in the world”. And so it proved.
Since then, studio albums like Premiere and Second Nature have propelled Jenkins into the classical music hierarchy, and she’s performed everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to the Royal Albert Hall.
Although it’s often said that her success is not just about having a good voice but down to her stunning looks, Jenkins’ biggest achievement has been to bring classical music to the masses, inspiring young and old.
“Classical music at times can seem intimidating and I can totally understand that because I felt intimidated when I was younger, but I’m trying to show people it really doesn’t need to be like that,” she says. “You can go and enjoy it and it doesn’t matter about how much money you’ve got or what you wear.
“Classical music really was the pop music of its day. It really was music for the masses.”
In the Capital tonight, Jenkins will draw her set largely from her most recent album, Daydream, which debuted at Number 6 in the UK charts when it was released in October.
Recorded in London and LA, the record captures the ever-evolving range of her remarkable voice on songs from all ends of the musical spectrum – classical, choral, traditional, musical theatre and pop.
“I am made up of so many different types of music myself,” she explains. “My classical roots are still there. Then there’s my upbringing, learning to sing in church. And I have developed a love of folk songs.
“When I made my last album, Believe, I was still in my 20s, and I feel like there has been a big shift since then. My performance has come on through two years travelling the world, and I was desperate to get back in the studio after so long.”
“I wanted Daydream to be a very natural, very intimate album,” she adds. “I want people to put it on and let it take you to that place where you can just think - or not think - and just relax into it.”
Katherine Jenkins, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, tonight, 7.30pm, £33.75–£72.60, 0844-847 1660