Having performed a dazzling run on the US television giant ‘Dancing With The Stars’, performed at the Queen’s Jubilee and taken prime spot as an ambassador for the London Olympic athletes, to end her most exciting year, Katherine Jenkins today announces her very first Christmas album, entitled, ‘This Is Christmas’, released November 26th on Warner Bros Records. Katherine will perform tracks from the album, and some of her most loved songs, on her Christmas tour starting at the Manchester Bridgewater Hall on December 9th.
Recorded during the summer with veteran producer Mike Hedges in Malta, her ninth record is an album of traditional beauty with a mixture of classic carols and festive favourites.
To facilitate the sessions Katherine opted for a rather unique specification. ‘Fairy-lights, candles, giant Father Christmas’s everywhere,’ she instructed her collaborator. She stopped just short of fake snow. ‘I’m not a diva, you know,’ she laughs. The setting had to be perfect for her first Christmas album.
In her 32 years so far, Katherine has never missed a family Christmas back home in Neath, South Wales. ‘Even when I’ve been in Iraq to play for the services at that time of year, I’ve made sure I was back in the nick of time on Christmas Eve for the festivities beginning.’
The Jenkins’ have strict rules for the celebrations. Katherine and her sister will go to the same pub every year on Christmas Eve, meet with old school friends, then on to Midnight Mass. In the morning the extended family come to mum’s house and in the evening nip round to Aunty Jo’s for trivial pursuit and Doctor Who.
Because Christmas is so important to her, the record is too. You don’t mess with the message when it comes to a tradition like this. From the outset, she had an exact type of album in mind - one that would take you straight to the fireside, presents wrapped, possibly with a cheeky glass of Baileys within the first four bars of each song. ‘I didn’t want to make an abstract Christmas album. I wanted to make one that felt familiar, like you’d known it for years.’
1 O COME O COME EMMANUEL
2 DING DONG MERRILY ON HIGH
3 AWAY IN A MANGER
4 IN DULCI JUBILO
5 THE CHRISTMAS SONG (CHESTNUTS ROASTING ON AN OPEN FIRE)
6 SANTA BABY
7 DECK THE HALLS
8 SLEEP QUIETLY MY JESUS
9 I WISH YOU CHRISTMAS
10 ANGELS FROM THE REALMS OF GLORY
11 WEXFORD CAROL
12 HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING
13 COME WHAT MAY (featuring Plácido Domingo)
2012 Christmas Tour Dates
9th December Manchester Bridgewater Hall
10th December London Royal Albert Hall
12th December Sheffield City Hall
13th December Brighton Dome
16th December Belfast Odyssey Arena
18th December Birmingham Symphony Hall
19th December Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
21st December Gateshead The Sage