Concert with Katherine Jenkins, Margam Park, Wales, 8 July 2007
Photo from The South Wales Evening Post, 10 July 2007

Review: Katherine in the Park at Margam Park 
Malcolm Rees, The South Wales Evening Post, 10 July 2007

It was a night to remember, the night Katherine Jenkins came home to launch her own music festival.

What Bryn Terfel had done for his native North Wales, Katherine was determined to achieve for South Wales. And judging by the response from her audience, she is on to a winner.

With her natural charm, humour and stunning voice Katherine won over her audience from her first appearance.

More than 5,000 people attended the open-air concert and for once in this soggy summer, the elements were kind and everyone was able to enjoy the wonderful setting of the park as well as the quality performances before them.

Katherine, sporting pink Wellingtons for her opening spot, told the crowd it had been her dream to set up a festival.

She said: "I want to get some of the quality people from across the world to come to this area to entertain you. Thank you for your support, it means a lot to me and hopefully we can continue to do this every year."

Katherine began her performance with two modern classics Music of the Night from Phantom and Somewhere from West Side story.

Her rich voice easily overcame the difficulties of open-air singing to get the evening off to a wonderful start.

There was a lovely cameo appearance from Port Talbot's latest singing star, Paul Potts, and an appearance from Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez.

After a nervous start he blossomed with a stirring performance of Nessum Dorma, the aria from Turandot which won him the nationwide talent competition.

He need not have worried about his reception because the audience were with him

But if the concert had made a wonderful start there was better to come with the introduction of Juan Diego Florez the Peruvian tenor who has wowed opera audiences across the world.

His magnificent voice had the audience on its feet. He took La Scala, Milan by storm and he now has a special place in the heart of Neath Port Talbot.

His effortless style and soaring voice was spectacular and he brought something really special to the evening. He sang a variety of items climaxing with a dazzling performance of Granada.

But it was Katherine everyone came to hear and she did not disappoint.

With a wardrobe as dazzling as her performance she gave everyone their money's worth.

And her ending with We'll Keep a Welcome brought tears to many eyes including Katherine's and before the strains of the Welsh National Anthem had died downAnd the audience were treated to a wonderful firework display to complete a very special evening. Roll on next year.


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