One of my favorite female singers is Katherine Jenkins. Living a Dream is my CD selection for this week and I recommend downloading the MP3 version to save some money. The following Amazon review provides clues as to what to expect to hear on this recording. It is a stunning collection. I’ll likely suggest more of her recordings in the future.
“Katherine is an opera singer whose fan base includes many who do not normally listen to opera, or who (like me) listen just occasionally. She can sometimes be seen performing at events dominated by pop and rock acts, with the result that her albums sell in huge quantities (at least in the UK) and outsell many (but not all) of those pop and rock stars.
A look at the track listing on this and Katherine’s earlier albums shows that she likes to mix classical pieces with popular songs drawn from a variety of sources. As such, I’m not sure that true opera fans will like Katherine’s music (although some might) but those fans can console themselves with the thought that some of the true opera fans of the future may have discovered opera because of Katherine. So my review is mainly directed at fans who (like me) know very little about opera but who might be tempted to give this album a listen. As such, I’ll focus on the familiar songs.
Katherine begins by singing an Italian translation of I will always love you, the Dolly Parton song that became an international number one hit for Whitney Houston. As a huge Dolly fan, I was curious to find out how this sounded and it’s the reason I decided to buy this album. Of course, Katherine’s version is very different from Dolly’s or Whitney’s versions but I was very impressed.
I vow to thee my country (track 2) can be interpreted as either a patriotic song or a gospel song. To those who are wary of patriotic songs, be reassured that this particular song has no cultural references – whatever your country is, you should be able to relate to this song.
Music of the night (track 5) is an Andrew Lloyd Webber song that Katherine sings superbly.
Nessun Dorma (track 6) became famous in the UK when the BBC used Pavarotti’s version as the theme for TV coverage of a major sporting event (the World Cup). Katherine refreshes this fine song, which became a UK #2 hit for Pavarotti following its use as a TV theme.
Amazing grace (track 9) is outstanding – this is my favourite on the album. It’s not my absolute favorite rendition of this song but I’ve heard (and loved) many versions and Katherine would certainly get in my top five.
All things bright and beautiful (track 11) is a song that I became very familiar with at school but had never heard subsequently until I heard it here. Well, it certainly never sounded anything like this good at school.
Over the rainbow (track 13) will forever be associated with Judy Garland but Katherine proves that the song adapts well to an operatic interpretation. Like Amazing grace, this is among the best renditions I’ve heard of this song.”