Katherine Jenkins Hoghton Tower
Wow! Katherine Jenkins sure can sing, but we already knew that, didn’t we?
But she also demonstrated some other rather charming qualities when she took to the stage for the annual St Catherine’s fundraiser, Symphony at the Tower, on Saturday.
She giggled and she joked and she flirted – waving back at her fans and even shouting ‘I love you too!’ to one besotted member of the audience. And in the final minutes of her performance she jumped up and down, clearly bursting with enthusiasm for the climax of the show.
Between costume changes that saw her in five different full-length fairy-tale gowns, she delivered a programme of numbers stretching from classics such as ‘O Sole Mio’, through Leonard Cohen’s ever-popular ‘Hallelujah’ to war-time favourites such as ‘We’ll Meet again’. And before the grand, proms-style finale, she belted out ‘We Are the Champions’, an odd choice for a classical singer, but the audience, replete in their chairs after picnics under a cloudless blue sky at Hoghton Tower, loved it.
Katherine wasn’t the only one on stage of course. Backing her up and stirring up the audience into a frenzy of carefully-timed percussive claps as they played The Sailor’s Hornpipe was the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis. Despite the promises of champagne all round if the slightly tipsy crowd got it right … there were no corks popping after that performance!
And spliced into the costume-changes was a five-strong female ensemble called Celeste. These young women had a tough act to follow, but managed to pull it off, delivering tight, precise close harmony numbers that raised a few hairs on the back of my neck.
Adding to the programme was Preston’s very own Musical Comedy Show Choir, who warmed everyone up with numbers from stage shows such as Les Miserables and Aspects of Love.
And finally, there was the fireworks. Against a darkening blue sky they were, quite simply, breathtaking; the perfect end to a lovely evening in aid of a great cause.