‘The people never let me down in Haywards Heath’

Singing star Katherine Jenkins is delighted to be making a sixth visit to Victoria Park, Haywards Heath – a place she knows the crowds will be delightful.

Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins

“Is it the fifth? Or the sixth? I have lost count,” she says, “but lost count in a good way. I have got so many great memories of performing there.”

Even though it’s coming up for ten years since she released her first album, she says she likes to think she retains an impression of all the places she has played – something someone shouted out or how the heavens opened...

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“But I have always felt particularly welcome at Haywards Heath and that the people really know how to enjoy themselves there. It has got such a great party atmosphere. I am not sure if it is down to the venue. It seems to be the atmosphere in the whole town. What really makes it are the people. They never let me down in Haywards Heath.”

And that’s why she’s back – on July 20, accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Inglis.

At the age of 32, Katherine is firmly established as one of the most prolific classical crossover artists in the world, recognised for her unique renditions of popular songs, operatic arias and hymns.

She has released nine studio albums, won two Classical BRIT awards and sold in excess of seven million albums since launching her career in 2004. Her stratospheric rise has made Katherine the fastest-selling soprano ever.

Katherine has performed for the Queen and the Prime Minister since her breakout in 2003 when she signed the biggest-ever classical deal.

“For Haywards Heath, we are going to be singing a mixture of everything from opera arias to classical versions of pop songs and songs from the shows. And there will be lots of banter. I always think these concerts are the best way to enjoy the music. They are so informal. Off-stage I am very chatty, and on-stage I think it is something that I just do. In the first couple of years maybe I was less at ease chatting, but now I just go out there and be myself. If something goes wrong, I just make a joke out of it.

“I go to see other artists in concert, and I go for the music, but I also go because I want to get to know a little bit more about who they are. I remember seeing Adele at the Royal Albert Hall and she sings so beautifully, but I loved the cheeky banter between the songs which really endeared her to the audience.”

Katherine signed that famous record deal in March 2003, and the first album came out in March 2004: “So 2014 will be my tenth anniversary. I can’t believe it. I look back at that first album, and I was so excited to be doing it that I just didn’t think past it... and now it is nearly ten years.

“It has been a really steep learning curve.

“I have learned a lot about myself as a person and as a performer. I think I have developed a lot as an artist, and the public have been kind enough to give me lots of opportunities.”

Tickets: adult - £29 (£35 on the gate); child £15 (five to 15 years). Limited number of exclusive VIP Hospitality tickets available at £100.

Book your tickets by phoning the It’s Magic Events ticket office on 01444 800045 or online www.itsmagic.org.uk.

By Phil Hewitt