INTERNATIONAL singing star Katherine Jenkins performed an open air concert in the grounds of an 18th Century historic house in Northumberland last night.
The Welsh star took to the stage on the lawn at Close House Hotel & Golf Club in Heddon-on-the-Wall with thousands of fans enjoying picnics while she belted out a selection of songs.
Dressed in a strapless floor-length black diamante gown, she mixed a blend of operatic classics with modern music to entertain the crowds.
She was joined by the National Symphony Orchestra who were conducted by renowned British conductor Anthony Inglis.
Speaking to the audience after her opening track, which was a cover of rock band Evanescence’s Bring Me To Life, she said how happy she was to be in the North East again.
Katherine, who recently appeared on Dancing with the Stars in the US, said: “It’s so lovely to be in Newcastle, you always make me feel so welcome.”
And she received a warm welcome from sisters Susan Taylor and Judith Ridley, both from Blaydon, Gateshead, who were both seeing Katherine for the first time. Susan, a 54-year-old administrator, said: “I really, really like her music but this is first time I’ve seen her. I just think she’s got an amazing voice.”
Shop assistant Judith, 56, added: “She’s a stunning singer and it’s great to be able to watch her here, it’s an absolutely amazing setting for it.”
This was the first event of its kind at Close House and just 4,000 tickets were released. After a horrid summer, the event was blessed by a fine, warm evening.
There were also some well-known North East faces in the audience including Close House owner Graham Wylie and former Newcastle United chairman Freddy Shepherd.
Rubbing shoulders with them was long-time Katherine Jenkins fan Susan Sloan, who was seeing her for the third time.
The 61-year-old from Spennymoor, County Durham, said: “I saw her at Newcastle City Hall and at the Arena as well. She’s brilliant. I just love her music and everything about her generally. It’s been really fantastic.”
Couple Sheila and Alan Breillat, from Wallsend, North Tyneside, have followed the singer for years and were both excited to see her perform live for the first time in such idyllic surroundings.
Sheila, 56, said: “We are both fans and Alan thinks she is gorgeous so it’s a good job we had such good seats close to the front.”
Katherine’s performance completed a weekend of musical events at Close House which saw stars of long-running hit show Mamma Mia! give a special outdoor performance on Saturday night.