Katherine Jenkins @ Bournemouth International Centre

(Bournemouth Echo)

“Not afraid of talking, me, am I?” she laughs, apologising for “blabbering” between the songs. It’s all part of the appeal of Katherine Jenkins, the 29-year-old mezzo-soprano from Neath. She’s beautiful, awesomely talented and yet totally unaffected.

Katherine admits to having been “starstruck” when she appeared on Dancing on Ice recently, accompanied on piano by Lord Lloyd Webber, as Torville and Dean skated around her. Now it was our turn to be starstruck as this most appealing of performers set the little hairs on the backs of our necks tingling with her singing of Love Never Dies.

This was a sumptuously mounted concert, with orchestra (including support from electric string quartet Escala), superb dancers, costumes and lighting combining to create moods ranging from circus to masked ball and even gladiatorial contest. Katherine’s success as a cross-over artist is reflected in the way she moves effortlessly between musical territories.

There was a selection from Bizet’s Carmen and an achingly beautiful rendition of Nella Fantasia that brought the audience to its feet.

But then the duetting with Amaury Vassili on Endless Love was a highlight too, as was her performance of Angels, rendered while revolving precariously above the stage in the grasp of an acrobat.

Elsewhere, theatricality added excitement to Queen’s Who Wants to Live Forever? and Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life, featuring an eye-widening routine in which Katherine metamorphosed from Goth princess to butterfly. Not a bad symbol of her versatility.

Related:

Katherine Jenkins @ Bournemouth International Centre reviewed in the Times

Between songs Jenkins went to extraordinary lengths to present herself as a sweetly unaffected girl-next-door, reminding us many times just how uniquely welcoming she has always found Bournemouth audiences to be.

Yeah, right. Unfortunately, at no point did she sound remotely sincere, or even entirely human. Despite the singer’s ample talents, this show was simply too safe and soulless to work as either intimate confessional or camp spectacle, revealing nothing of the real Jenkins beyond her robo-diva determination to smarm and charm her way to international stardom.

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