Home Sweet Home for Katherine
She may be an international star but Katherine Jenkins's Neath roots are still profoundly important to her. This was evident at the open air concert in Swansea's Singleton Park on the evening of Sunday 27th July. There were many from Neath in the packed audience sat in a natural amphitheatre around the stage on a glorious evening. Katherine was making her first public performance on home territory since the Margam Park concert in 2007 and her last appearance in Swansea for Proms in Park eight years ago. She entered wearing a white dress decorated with the Welsh Dragon, the suggestion she said of her Auntie Jo. There were waves by Katherine to a section of the audience where her family were gathered (photo above) and a banner was held up from that quarter proclaiming 'Home Sweet Home Welcome Back Katherine'. Early on she sang the moving Pieu Jesu, a favourite of her late father Selwyn to whom she was devoted. Accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra led by Anthony Inglis, Katherine proceeded to give a sparkling performance which delighted the crowd. As well as the mezzo-soprano’s diverse musical offerings, the audience was treated to the sweet harmonies of Celeste, an upcoming girl classical group, and the more rumbustious performance in the second half of Only Boys Aloud. This all built up to a reprise of her Proms in the Park finale where Katherine entered draped in the Welsh flag and proceeded to rouse the crowd to join in with Land of Hope and Glory and Rule Britannia.
At one point in the evening Katherine made reference to the happiness that she had found with her American fiancé Andrew Levitas. This drew cheers from the audience but must have left a few wondering whether the USA might in future be seeing more of Katherine where she has already made her mark in Dancing With The Stars. And what are the chances of her wedding being held in St David’s church in Neath where Katherine first came to prominence as a girl chorister? These are things we'll have to wait to learn but in the meantime it was sufficient to bask in the glorious midsummer sunshine of Singleton Park and be grateful for this home-grown talent who has now spread her influence far and abroad. And what should be the title of Katherine's soon to be released new album, why it's 'Home Sweet Home', of course!
Neath Guardian Online is grateful to Swansea Sound and its Station Director Helen Bowden for the opportunity to cover this event which was sponsored by the radio station on its 40th anniversary.
Photos and report by Jeff Griffiths
Mike Davies was also there with his camera:
Katherine Jenkins in her Welsh dress
Katherine Jenkins entertains the audience
Katherine Jenkins with Boys Aloud
See more images here with the Neath Guardian ONLINE presentation by Mike Davies
For contractual reasons Katherine does not sing on the above video but on the YouTube video below she sings the National Anthem of Wales: