Archive for katherine jenkins

Katherine Jenkins: More Idle Thoughts

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2011 by Robin Gosnall

I have never met the woman nor, I suppose, am I ever likely to. I do not know how musically competent she is in practice. She may well be, in person, a very pleasant individual. She is nice enough to look at if you like that kind of thing. However, it is the public persona that does not gel with me, in that she has been manufactured and sold as some sort of classical pop star. With her, or possibly more correctly her backers, it seems to be more a case of product and money ahead of any underlying talent or artistic direction.

She seems to have a nice enough voice. However, there’s a big difference between someone who does one or two excerpts from operas reasonably well, and someone who actually performs in them for years, and makes several recordings of the best of them. She may not have acting ability either – though that might not matter on recordings.

Actually, even if she were not able to cope with large scale opera, there are other routes to a career in classical music – recitals, etc., but they’re not routes to money and I fear that money means a lot to her.

I remember hearing an interview with Julie Andrews who was honest enough to say that she knew she didn’t have the right abilities to be a classical singer.

I think it’d be really interesting if La Jenkins were to tackle something large scale or serious, but if she knows that’s not for her, then perhaps we should let her be the judge of that.

She has been successful at what she’s done, so good luck to her, although I’ll raise my hand and say that she’s not my cup of Earl Grey. If she inspires people who’ve heard her sing a couple of arias from Carmen to hear the full opera, and then maybe something else by Bizet, and then maybe another opera, then that’s great, but does this actually happen?

I’m sure people would have much more respect for Katherine Jenkins if she really did cross over and performed a full opera or gave a recital of Schubert lieder.


Katherine Jenkins: Idle Thoughts

Traces of cocaine found on 99% of British bank notes

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2010 by Robin Gosnall


Cocaine is cheaper than a cup of coffee in a London restaurant, authors of the parliamentary report made to estimate the government’s struggle against the import of heavy drugs in the country said. The price of one gram of cocaine has lost 50% of its value during the recent decade.

Deputies of the British government believe that the measures, which the government takes to struggle against the import of heavy drugs, are dismally inadequate. The drug is still available in the streets, and the cost of cocaine dropped during the recent ten years from £80 to £40 per gram.

For comparison, a cup of coffee may cost from £2 to £8 in London. A glass of the cheapest wine or beer costs at least £3.50 pounds. The price of cocaine could drop against the background of its worsening quality, experts say. The drug may often be mixed with other substances, such as painkillers.

The cocaine, which the British police confiscated in 2009, was 27% made of the natural product. In other arrested batches, there was only %5 of pure cocaine.

There are other reasons that may have led to dropping prices on the narcotic substance. Prices on illegal substances depend on the risk connected with its delivery, storage and sale. A lower threat of punishment triggers the growth of competition on the market, which eventually results in lower prices.

Today, Britain is one of the prime receivers of cocaine in the Old World. British MPs believe that cocaine has gained popularity with the help of celebrities and successful businessmen. Many celebrities use cocaine and do not receive any punishment for it. Moreover, successful entrepreneurs may often look absolutely normal and take high positions in the society despite their addiction to cocaine.

British supermodels Kate Moss and Jodie Kidd would often make headlines because of their fondness for cocaine. Singers Katherine Jenkins and Amy Winehouse publicly stated that they used cocaine.

A cocaine scandal occurred in the British armed forces in 2004, when it was said that the Royal Highland Fusiliers and the Royal Scots took cocaine.

Great Britain comes second on the use of cocaine in modern-day Europe. The country can proudly take the first place at this point: traces of cocaine were found on 99% of the nation’s bank notes.

3% of Britain’s adult population tried cocaine in 2008-2009, which marked a five-fold increase in comparison with 1996. Britain is also one of the leaders when it comes to the use of such drugs as ecstasy and amphetamines.

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Renée Fleming goes indie

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 2, 2010 by Robin Gosnall

Soprano Renée Fleming has learned “a completely different style of singing” for a forthcoming pop album, which features covers of Muse, Arcade Fire, and Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah. “This album is NOT a crossover,” the American singer insists. “There’s not a hint of ‘middle ground’. It’s completely at the other extreme of the spectrum.”

This isn’t the first time Fleming has let her hair down on a recording – she released a jazz album in 2005, and sang in Elvish for The Lord of the Rings soundtrack. But this is Fleming’s first foray into the fearsome, pierced world of actual rock and pop.

“In classical music, we perform unamplified in halls that seat up to 4,000 audience members, plus we’re required to project over large orchestras and often a chorus,” she explained. “We’re kind of the weightlifters of singing … [Here, I had to] sing in what often felt like a whisper. I was recording in a small, acoustic booth in this intimate style, which is the complete opposite of how I usually sing. [Producer] David [Kahne] worked with me closely so that there was no hint of drama, cheesiness, or ‘Las Vegas’, as he would call it.”

Of course, Fleming isn’t exactly covering the Misfits. Her version of Tears for Fears’ Mad World is much more Gary Jules than new wave, and that old chestnut Hallelujah won’t blow the spectacles off any grannies. The project was conceived by Peter Mensch and Cliff Burnstein, whose management company represents Muse, Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Inspired by a bus poster featuring the soprano, Mensch “badgered” Fleming’s record company “once a year for years”, he told the New York Times. When Fleming finally capitulated, the pair gave her 40 songs to listen to – and an Excel spreadsheet on which to indicate “Love it”, “Like it”, “So-so”, “Not my cup of tea” or “Would love to sing it”. It was “mostly … indie-rock bands,” Fleming admitted. She took the music on holiday with her family, only to discover that the artists were some of her daughters’ favourites. “It really grew on me, but I still don’t think anyone knew how my voice could possibly combine with this music,” Fleming said.

“We all agreed she wouldn’t sing like a standard soprano, like Katherine Jenkins or Susan Boyle,” Mensch explained. Instead, Fleming had to find that new voice – and become comfortable singing these songs. “I was especially fascinated by the Mars Volta song, With Twilight As My Guide, which is operatic in its scale and musical complexity. I was, however, a bit concerned about the text, specifically the reference to ‘devil daughters.’” Fleming wrote to the Mars Volta’s Cedric Bixler-Zavala, asking permission to change the lyrics. “Sure, she can change it,” Bixler-Zavala replied, but he said the lyrics were “sarcastic” – “one huge metaphor for the [poor] way women are treated in Islamic society”. Fleming was satisfied: “This explanation was enough for me.”

Dark Hope will be released by Decca in the spring.

1 Endlessly (Muse)
2 No One’s Gonna Love You (Band of Horses)
3 Oxygen (Willy Mason)
4 Today (Jefferson Airplane)
5 Intervention (Arcade Fire)
6 With Twilight as My Guide (The Mars Volta)
7 Mad World (Tears For Fears)
8 In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
9 Stepping Stone (Duffy)
10 Soul Meets Body (Death Cab for Cutie)
11 Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen)

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Katherine Jenkins “Almost Raped” 10 Years Ago

Posted in Music with tags , , , on October 22, 2009 by Robin Gosnall


To coincide with the release of her seventh album Believe on October 26, Katherine Jenkins has revealed to Piers Morgan how she was almost raped.

“I remember him grunting at me. He started dragging me and I remember my purse was there so I knew he wasn’t just trying to mug me and somehow I managed to get out of his grip and I thought ‘My gosh, I’m going to get away from him’.”

“He kind of threw his weight against me and I hit the wooden wall and then I just thought, ‘Right, he is actually going to try and rape me, so if I can get in a ball on the floor … then he won’t be able to do it.’ So I did that and he kicked me a few times and tried to get me to open up, and that didn’t work … and then eventually I gave him my purse, which didn’t have much money in it because I was a student. He ran to the end of the road and then stopped and looked back at me and laughed. And I’ll never forget his face.”

The star was not able to identify her attacker.

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Katherine Jenkins: Bring Me To Life

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

“This album is definitely my most accessible, my most crossover, it’s still classical but it’s far more popular than anything I’ve ever done before,” Katherine Jenkins told Lorraine Kelly on GMTV.

Katherine Jenkins Day on The Eton Mess is now officially over.

“Save me from the nothing I’ve become.”

Evanescence: Bring Me To Life

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall

Katherine Jenkins includes this song on her new album Believe.

Opera singer Katherine Jenkins talks to Telegraph TV about her new album Believe

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on October 20, 2009 by Robin Gosnall
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