Ahead of shows in Llandudno and Cardiff, pop-classical titan Katherine Jenkins discusses her latest album of movie standards Cinema Paradiso, lockdown-era home live streams and being 99.7% Welsh with Buzz’s Carl Marsh.
So how’ve you been keeping the last 18 months or so?
I made a promise at the beginning of the pandemic that I would do free concerts from my house every Saturday night on Facebook. I thought that would only be for a few weeks and ended up doing a whole year of them! My whole family loved it actually – my kids are dancing around in the background, my husband was managing the WiFi and the backing tracks. I’m really happy we did it because it came from a place of admiring the amazing NHS workers. But you know, nothing beats being on a stage in a real theatre with amazing musicians in front of a gorgeous audience singing along. So I’m really excited to get back out there.
Especially coming back to Wales. It must be so emotional when you do get to perform here again.
Absolutely. All the differences in rules meant that for a long time I really couldn’t come down to Wales, so it made me even more excited than ever to perform. You always want to do your best when you go home. I did a [DNA home analysis kit] 23andme the other day – have you done one of those? My friend bought me one as a birthday present. They email you saying, many people have got multiple countries in their background… then told me I was 99.7% Welsh! And the 0.3% came from Yorkshire.
Are you a fan of all the films Cinema Paradiso’s tracklisting comes from, just the music or a bit of both?
They’re all songs that had a story behind me recording them. My dad was known for singing Singing In The Rain at family parties. I sang Moon River when my best friend walked down the aisle at her wedding. And, and, you know, there’s, there’s, each one has got a story I wanted to do. Somewhere Far Away is from Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, and I’ve just been working with Ryuichi Sakamoto, who did the soundtrack. So, they’ve all got different personal reasons as well as being iconic moments in film.
Katherine Jenkins plays Venue Cymru, Llandudno, Wed 17 Nov; St David’s Hall, Cardiff, Thurs 18 Nov.
words CARL MARSH
See Katherine Jenkins Live
St. David’s Hall, Cardiff, Thurs 18 Nov