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Katherine Jenkins

Escape 2 Events Management presents
Last Night of the Proms
Katherine Jenkins & the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis

Open Air Theatre Scarborough – Saturday 3rd August 2013

Approaching the Open Air Theatre tonight, young and old are enjoying the light evening breeze, purchasing Union Jack flags on sale and making donations to the people collecting for Help for Heroes and FAB, a charity for bereaved military families.

The stage is already set up waiting for the National Symphony Orchestra to take its place.
The Marching Band of the Yorkshire Volunteers enters on the green before the gathering crowd performing themes from 'The Great Escape', 'The Last of the Mohicans' and many other brass band favorites.

Katherine Jenkins

 Yorkshire Coast Radio's Paddy Billington enters the stage to introduce the opening act, local talent Robyn Keech & her band. Robyn has performed at the Open Air Theatre before and begins her five song set with a cover of 'You've Got the Love' - slowed down with an almost jazzy feel, followed by 'Don't You Worry Child' (Swedish House Mafia cover), a lovely stripped-down version with piano accompaniment from John Pattison. A natural performer, Robyn introduces her band and leads into a bluesy version of Etta James' 'At Last' which showcases her voice well. The fourth song is an original which really shows her talent as a songwriter. I personally would like to hear more of her material - definitely one to watch. The set is rounded up by a cover of Katy Perry's 'Firework' – which again has almost a jazzy lilt to it and Robyn sings the song with confidence and ease. I look forward to hearing more, and as members of the audience enter during the set I couldn't help but feel like they had missed out on a treat.

Robyn Keech

 Paddy returns to the stage encouraging the audience to wave their Union Jack flags and doing a great job of interacting, asking them to tell their friends that "It never rains in Scarborough" which is met with guffaws. He then introduces The National Symphony Orchestra who will be accompanying Katherine Jenkins this evening, and as I find out during the show have accompanied Katherine from the start of her career. The crowd has now gathered to a good size promising a positive atmosphere for the evening. The orchestra, clad in white suit jackets & led by conductor Anthony Inglis, are met with applause as they begin playing and are joined by the lady herself, Katherine Jenkins.

 Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

 At risk of sounding like a voice-over from an awards show, I have to say that Katherine changes her outfits no less than four times during the show. The first gown she wears is pale pink with sequins. I would guess it is how many people imagine Katherine Jenkins to be, with her platinum blonde hair – it's almost as if a glamorous, classic Hollywood screen actress has taken to the stage.

Her first few songs show amazing control and we are very much aware that this is a singer who is meticulously trained. Her vibrato is flawless and she hits the high notes with an ease which belies their difficulty. After the first song she engages with the audience, at first giggling in excitement – surprisingly in contrast with her powerful singing voice, she sounds girly and quickly charms the audience, telling them she feels rested after being on holiday and that she is thrilled to be in Scarborough. She gives a teaser of what is to come, saying she will be singing arias, songs from shows and folk songs from all her albums and that she is planning on getting the audience to sing along later.

Each song is ended with a deep courtesy to the audience, Katherine introduces 'Les Filles de Cadiz' by speaking about her time on Strictly Come Dancing (the US version) saying it's difficult to go back from dancing every day to normal routine, and that she has to resist the urge to shimmy too much on stage. The song is about a girl who wants to dance and flirt with boys. She is expressive, the way a good singer and performer should be, showing that she is engaging with the lyrics in all languages.

Accordion player Martynas Levickis is introduced to perform two pieces while Katherine leaves the stage for outfit change number one. Martynas performs with the National Symphony Orchestra as Katherine returns to the stage in a white gown and tells the audience about singing in the church choir as a child and embracing classical music at the age of 14. Her love of religious music and show songs is combined in the Andrew Lloyd Webber piece 'Pie Jesu'. The audience is captivated.

 Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Before the last pre-interval song, she relates that she had seen the zorbing balls often seen in Peasholm Park, and tells the audience that we may see her in the interval zorbing across the lake! Self-confessing that she is name dropping, we are told about the time she made herself comfortable at Buckingham Palace where she was given a room and butler and performed the next song, 'I Could Have Danced All Night', in celebration of the anniversary of the Queen's coronation. This particular song choice is met with sighs of approval. The interaction with the orchestra during the song is a lovely touch, at one point even taking a moment to dance with the conductor. She works the stage exuding a sense of fun and a genuine love of performing.

At the start of the second half the National Symphony Orchestra take to the stage again leading Katherine in; the sun sets over the horizon, sunglasses are put away and sweaters and coats are being donned as the evening turns chilly with the absence of sunshine. The third outfit is an emerald green number. She enters the stage and begins singing her version of Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' turning it into a stirring operatic anthem –it's a song she says she loves dearly, and it shows.

More backstory is given about her youth, when she was younger both she and her sister would perform from Andrew Lloyd Webber's easy piano book, and how she was asked by the man himself to perform the title track of 'Love Never Dies' which she performs with a warmth and richness to her voice. Although it isn't a particular favorite of mine, I was impressed with her control and technique of the piece, as it is not an easy one to sing.

There was a brief pause in the performance while Katherine tried to remove a fly from her eye, enlisting the assistance of Anthony Inglis – after being unable to see it, she said "oh well" and continued the show like a true professional. She drops in insights into her life, such as losing her father at the age of 15 and how he would have loved to have seen this, introducing the next song saying "I don't think they write romantic songs like this anymore" then begins 'Someone To Watch Over Me', which is met with enthusiastic applause. This second half is definitely more popular music and show songs.

Telling the audience she would like to change into another frock, she welcomes Martynas back to the stage and says her influences are "the big voices" such as Judy Garland, Maria Callas & Edith Piaf. This leads into her performance of 'La Vie en Rose' accompanied by Martynas and the orchestra, a piece she says she has not performed like this before. She effortlessly hits the high notes without breaking a sweat.

While she changes, Martynas & the orchestra get the audience clapping along. We are left in suspense but shortly she returns to the stage in a beautiful purple gown and begins a beautiful rendition of 'Somewhere over the Rainbow'.

Between each song Katherine tells the audience stories of why each song is special to her. Asking if there are any Welsh people in the audience, which is met with a smatter of cheers, she says "I am proud of where I come from" and begins the Welsh anthem "My Dear Little Wales" in her native Welsh. Cries of "We love you, Katherine" from an enthusiastic gent get a response of "It's my lucky night – bless you!" followed by thanking the audience and event organizers for hosting the evening.

A stirring version of 'Time to Say Goodbye' shows the power behind her voice which truly makes the song her own - she lends a warmer tone in comparison to the original Sarah Brightman version, and the performance is met with whoops and cheers.

The finale is started with 'Rule Britannia' – which sees flags raised proudly in the air and people getting up on their feet and singing along, encouraged by Katherine holding her hand to her ear. It is followed by a powerful rendition of 'Jerusalem'. 'Land of Hope and Glory' sees her clapping, dancing and waving her arms on stage, bringing a whimsical youthfulness to the performance.

The night is brought to a close as a little girl is brought on stage to present Katherine with a bouquet of flowers, a gesture which is met with a big 'awww' from the crowd. It must have been like meeting a real life Disney princess for that young lady. As Katherine departs the stage, cries of "more" rise up from the crowd and she returns to ask if we want to hear one more; as if she needed to ask. The final song of the evening is the classic "We'll Meet Again" and it is a perfect song to end this Last Night of the Proms evening. Applause and shouts of "I love you" from the crowd are followed by fireworks which only help to enhance the magic of the evening.

Katherine Jenkins' performance brings the grandeur of the Proms to the Scarborough Open Air Theatre and you could almost feel like you are at the Hollywood Bowl tonight, with so much old school glamour and talent; a very high calibre of performance has been delivered this evening.

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins

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