Shropshire Star

'I can't wait to show my family how beautiful it is' - Welsh singing star Katherine Jenkins looks ahead to Llangollen Eisteddfod

Classical music star Katherine Jenkins, who returns to Llangollen's Eisteddfod in July, says the ethos of the festival - Wales welcoming the World - is even more important that ever.

Katherine Jenkins

The Welsh mezzo-soprano's career has included everything from opera to The Masked Singer,

She says she is thrilled to be returning to sing at the International Musical Eisteddfod.

And this time she is excited to be bringing her family - husband, children and her mum, with her.

In a flying visit to Llangollen in the rain this week Katherine said: "It is so lovely to be back and to be invited to sing again at the Eisteddfod."

"I can't wait to show my family how beautiful it is."

She said the history of the Llangollen event, first held in 1948 to bring countries together after the Second World War, had always interested her.

"That message is so important in the times we are living in today," she said.

"For the Eisteddfod to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize shows how important its peace message is."

Katherine, who is from Neath, took part herself in many school and Urdd (youth) eisteddfods as a child but admitted she never won anything.

"They taught me so much though."

Although she has lived in London since she was 18, Katherine has always been incredibly proud to be Welsh.

While she was extremely honoured to be asked to be the first person to sing God Save the King, she says it will always be the Welsh anthem that moves her most.

"It is the best and most emotional anthem in the world," she said.

"I will never forget when I was asked to sing it at the Welsh Rugby match in the then Millennium Stadium in 2003. I went from being a school teacher to singing in front of 74,000 people, far bigger than anything I had ever done. It was the moment that everything changed for me."

The career that has followed has seen the singer perform across the world and bridge the gap between classical and pop music.

It has also seen her duet with an eclectic mix of stars, from Andrea Bocelli to Jack Savoretti, Max Boyce and Kylie.

"I was such a fan of Neighbours and Kylie as a child so I couldn't quite believe it when we performed together for the Queen's 90th birthday."

With her non-stop singing career, Katherine still finds time for charity work, including recording What the World Needs Now, with Jack Savoretti for the War Child charity last year.

"We both agreed it was the perfect track."

"My mum always did charity work and she always taught us that if we were lucky enough to be in a position to help others then we should."

The singer will take to the stage at the Eisteddfod on July 7.

"I want to reflect that the Eisteddfod is welcoming the world and the concert will include music from many countries. And of course I will also be celebrating Welsh music."

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