RICHARD PARR Norwich Theatre Royal
> Norwich Theatre Royal
Who said opera can't be sexy and fun?
Welsh singing sensation Katherine Jenkins, who just two years ago was teaching in the classroom, proved amply last night in front of a capacity audience that it can indeed be both.
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In a dazzling first performance of her solo tour, the mezzo-soprano voice of Miss Jenkins cast a magical spell over her capacity audience - and how they loved her.
And while the men in the audience swooned over the enchanting voice from the Valleys, the women were treated to the fine tenor voice and stage presence of guest artist 22-year-old Scotsman Nicky Spence - a strapping blond six-footer with an engaging patter.
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It is not difficult to see how the lovely 24-year-old Miss Jenkins has
become the fastest-selling female artist since Maria Callas.
She oozes charisma and has an instantly likeable easy manner which endears her to her audience.
In a varied programme that illustrated the expansive range of her voice, Miss Jenkins sang in English, Italian and Welsh.
Looking every inch the classic beauty in a succession of fabulous frocks, she performed one number after another, accompanied by musicians of the English Symphony Orchestra.
Her numbers ranged from the traditional English I Vow to Thee My Country, and a Welsh folk song to One Fine Day from Madame Butterfly and The Habanera from Carmen.
On the lighter side, there was Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Music of the Night, Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You (sung in Italian for the first time) and Ava Maria.
Her performance was sheer class and her delightful practice of curtsying after each song is sure to become her trademark.
Her voice and persona have been likened to those of an angel - and last night she left her appreciative audience in seventh heaven.
Her final number, sung in English and Italian, was Time to Say Goodbye but not before three requested encores: Nessun Dorma, We'll Meet Again and My Way.