This time it’s serious

Katherine Jenkins (below) James Blunt
Katherine Jenkins (below) James Blunt
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After Elton-Rod Stewart, now it’s the biggest heaveyweight entertainers’ clash in Preston’s history

Golden-voiced singer Katherine Jenkins just loves the great outdoors – and she can’t wait for her big summer appearance in Lancashire.

James Blunt

James Blunt

The 33-year-old Welsh classical singer says she simply “adores” outdoor festivals. And she has a summer packed with them.

The recently-engaged star will appear in Symphony at the Tower at historic Hoghton Tower, near Preston, on Saturday.

Katherine will be supported by regular collaborator Anthony Inglis and the National Symphony Orchestra at the concert to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice. Her visit to the red rose county will be one of the highlights of a season that sees her performing across the UK.

She said: “It is looking like a really fun summer.

“I absolutely adore outdoor festivals, they are the most favourite things of my whole year and I can’t wait.

“What makes them so special is the atmosphere. It’s so informal, people who wouldn’t normally dream of going to a concert hall can go along with friends, take a picnic and a bottle of wine, and enjoy the musical experience in a gorgeous setting.

“We usually end up getting everyone on their feet for a rousing chorus of one of the classics. It’s lots of fun.

“It’s also a great way of introducing people to this form of music, to show that it’s not some kind of elite thing, it’s just good live music.”

The summer festival season and a return to Lancashire to perform aren’t the only reasons Katherine is smiling these days. She has just announced her engagement to American film-maker and artist Andrew Levitas.

Katherine said: “I’m still smiling, still beaming. I’m a very happy girl!”

So has a date been set for the big day? She laughed: “It’s amazing, once you’ve made the announcement everyone wants to know when the next step is!

“Basically, it has only recently happened, but once we can get a moment to think about it, we will get round to making some plans. It will probably be sooner rather than later.

“At the moment, I’m still basking in the excitement of it all!”

Will her new relationship see the girl from Neath put down roots in Hollywood, where Andrew lives and works?

She said: “I see stories about me going off to America and wanting to live there, but I very much see the UK as my home.

“I couldn’t be more proud of being British and I love being here and have no plans to leave.”

Children are also on Katherine’s future agenda. She added: “I’ve always said I really want to have a family.

“I’m from a close family and it’s very important to me. I’ve always felt that to go on tours and to have young children would not be fair. At some point in the future, if I’m lucky enough to be blessed with children, I will devote my time to them.”

Katherine is also enjoying life back in the recording studio with her new label, Decca.

She’s working on her 10th album, a return to her classical roots, and it’s with the people who signed her when she was a schoolteacher.

She said: “They really are the best at understanding and knowing what my kind of music really is. I’m going back to my musical family, to my musical roots. This album will certainly have the music that people want to hear and enjoy me perform.”

Friday, July 4 and Saturday, July 5

Symphony at the Tower in aid of St Catherine’s Hospice

Tickets still available for both nights