Katherine Jenkins is performing for Boundless in July, with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Boundless Summer Concert
See Katherine perform with John Owen-Jones and conductor Anthony Inglis on Sunday 22 July
As part of A Boundless Summer 2018, Katherine Jenkins is performing an open-air concert at Bowood House in Wiltshire. It's the perfect way to enjoy a summer’s evening with family and friends. We spoke to Katherine to find out what to expect...
Tell us about the concert...
I’m so looking forward to it – the summer festivals and outdoor concerts are my favourite events in the year, plus it’ll be my first performance after having my second baby. So I’m really excited. And also, as a performer, it’s a privilege to perform in stunning stately homes and gorgeous parks.
Do you prefer performing outside than in a concert hall?
I just love the open-air performances. Concert halls are built for acoustics and sound quality, which you can’t beat, but when you’re outdoors you see everybody so relaxed, lying on their blanket with a picnic and a glass of wine. It all feels very informal and they’re letting the music wash over them. This kind of music lends itself really well to an open-air setting. I enjoy that I can feel people relaxing and enjoying the music for what it is.
How do you choose the set list?
I work with my maestro Anthony Inglis, who’ll be conducting on this evening, and we’ve already prepared the set list. We try to be inclusive, we’ve got a wonderful orchestra and John Owen-Jones as the special guest. If you’ve been to a classical music concert before there are pieces you’ll enjoy, or if it’s your first time there's music you’ll recognise even if you don’t know what it's called. It’ll be everything from opera arias to musical theatre songs from the shows and classical versions of pop songs. Plus the style of the show is a Last Night of the Proms. If by the end I haven’t got everyone standing up and singing their hearts out and waving flags then I haven’t done my job properly!
How is it different performing with another singer than on your own?
John is such a talent and such a lovely guy, and he’s Welsh as well. He always goes down a storm with the audience so I’m really thrilled that he could join me for this concert. We’ve got some great duets together. He’s from a musical theatre background and is a star of the West End and Broadway, so he will be doing songs from Phantom of the Opera. He does it so well I know people will love him.
What’s your pre-show routine?
My pre-show routine is based around my voice, so it doesn’t matter whether I’m indoors or outdoors – the only difference is that I might have wellies on! I do my own hair and make-up, then I warm up my voice, and half an hour before I go on I do my full vocal warm up.
What do your awards mean to you?
It’s really hard to pick an award that means the most to me. My first Brit Award was really special, because the Album of the Year is an award that’s voted for by the public. My Mum had arranged a bus trip from Neath to the Albert Hall so there were 50 Welsh aunties who were all around, and on my walk up to the stage to collect my award they were all waving hand-made banners. My OBE was in recognition of both my music but also my connection to the military charity, so that really meant a lot to me. It’s really important to me and was something I didn’t ever expect.
What’s your favourite venue to perform in?
I’ve been really lucky to perform in so many places. The Royal Albert Hall is one of my all-time favourites, and I sang in the Sydney Opera House back in my early twenties, which was a dream come true. I’d love to perform in the Hollywood Bowl one day, which is another open-air venue.
What’s your favourite song to sing in the car with your daughter?
Currently my daughter is obsessed with the Little Mermaid so I’m singing 'Part of Your World' to her all the time. That’s her most requested song at the moment. Your playlist changes when you have little ones, but also on an artistic level she’s softened me and made me more emotional, so my choices of music are different. She makes me want to be the best I can be, so it’s definitely changing me as an artist. Being a working mum is a complete learning curve and just trying to find a rhythm that works for your family. I’m trying my best and who knows what will happen when three become four!
Find out more about A Boundless Summer and the open-air concerts.