Katherine Jenkins ‘returns to home of classical music’

Katherine Jenkins ‘returns to home of classical music’


norman lebrecht

January 21, 2014

We didn’t say that. They did.

The Welsh so-called ‘opera singer’ has a a new record deal after being dropped by Warner. And the plan, we hear, is a reversion to para-classics.


katherin jenkins itv







Today, 20th January 2014, Katherine Jenkins (OBE), announced that she has renewed her relationship with the world’s No.1 Classical label, Decca Records – signing a deal which will see the nation’s favourite songstress release her next album in the autumn of 2014.


This significant signing marks the beginning of a new era for the classical artist.


Katherine made the announcement at an intimate brunch at The Ritz to celebrate her 10th anniversary in the music industry.


Since 2004, Katherine has become one of the most successful classical crossover artists ever, selling in excess of 8 million albums to date and is one of the most in-demand classical concert artists in the world. In 2013 alone she toured in South Africa, China, Japan, The U.S., Abu Dhabi and across continental Europe.


Her popularity has earned Katherine numerous accolades including two Classical Brits for ‘Album of the Year’ as well as receiving an OBE for services to music and charity in the 2014 New Year Honours List.

Katherine Jenkins said:  “It feels not only very exciting but very special to be returning to Decca – a decade after they first signed me and to many of the people who helped launch my career. It amazes me to think that this will be my 10th album and for this, it seems the perfect place to be going ‘home’ to.”



  • Tommy says:

    “It amazes me to think that this will be my 10th album”.

    You’re not the only one.

  • Ninian Fergus says:

    I’m surprised there is no more snobbish bile yet. Read Richard Morrison’s article in the current (February) edition of BBC MUSIC to put things into a realistic perspective.

    • Janey says:

      Is the Morrison article available anywhere online for those in the US?

    • IainRMuir says:

      A singer allows herself to be placed in a particular category and is judged accordingly. What is snobbish, or even unreasonable, about that?

      When opera singers ventured into unfamiliar territory to produce the mid-1980s recording of West Side Story, they were strongly criticised in some quarters. Was this also snobbery?

  • England’s 1966 World Cup winners got MBEs…

  • timwalton3 says:

    There are many ‘passed’ Decca singers who will be turning in their graves. Decca must be desperate to sink to this new low. Talk about dumbing down.

  • Melisande says:

    Not only ‘passed’ Decca singers will be turning in their graves, but also all those employees who gave their artistic all to the Decca Record Company. Times are changing …, but in the end ….art will win.

  • Kenneth Griffin says:

    Decca may profit from this renewed relationship and so be able to subsidise a few recordings by some of the very many unpopular classical singers.

  • Nick says:

    I have not yet read BBC MUSIC’s article referred to above. Nor have I followed Ms. Jenkins career much since she signed the mega-deal with Warner. That it was widely reported was $10 million for 5 CDs, ‘kicked off’ in a big way with superstar MD David Foster masterminding the first. Yet Jenkins herself seems to have tweeted that the deal had run its course and had only been for 3 CDs. Hmmm!!

    Like her or not, though, you surely have to admire her chutzpah. How many young singers recently graduated from music school would have have the guts to walk into Decca’s office ten years ago and come out with a £1 million contract for 6 CDs? If you don’t like her, blame Decca rather than the singer!

  • Jon Jacob says:

    This post and some of the comments reminds me that being bitchy about some artists is not only condoned but encouraged in some quarters. It seems a shame that what began as a criticism of Decca’s signing and publicity machine, has inevitably turned in to criticism of Katherine Jenkins herself. It’s not the first time nor will it be the last. But it needs to come to an end. Because throwing cheap jibes does little for the reputation of classical music. I don’t really care whether Katherine Jenkins has a music degree or not (there are plenty of other opera singers who didn’t).

    I’ve written more about this here >> http://www.thoroughlygood.me/2014/01/21/nailing-my-colours-to-the-mast/

    • Alison says:

      Can’t comment in your blog so I’ll do it here.

      On December 13th, NL posted about Sean Panikkar, a crossover star who raises funds for opera. The post did not attract a single “bitchy” comment about him.

      Aversion to Katherine Jenkins is because she allows herself to me marketed as something she is not, and nothing else. When, novelty aside, coverage of opera, and classical music generally, is limited in the MSM, it is not unreasonable for opera fans to react badly to crossover singers who many people believe to be the real thing. In my opinion, the opera world needs to speak out more, not less, and to stop being such an easy target. Crossover singers are more than capable of dishing it out when it suits. As Russell Watson said “If you want Hamilton Smeeton-Smythe, who’s trained at the Royal College of Music in London and is technically amazing, then I might as well just walk out”.

      Sir Thomas Allen, hardly an example of privilege, and lacking a double-barrelled name or a bitchy temperament, has also been motivated to speak out on this issue.

      So far as the music degree is concerned again, you seem to have missed the point. It’s another misleading claim.

      • gil says:

        Maybe it’s because Sean Panikkar is an opera singer – a young tenor who in 2013-4 has sung or will sing Tamino, Nadir, Macduff, Don Ottavio with regional operac companies in the US.

  • timwalton3 says:

    Classical Music singers & KJ have NOTHING to do with each other.

    If KJ was advertised & promoted as a Vocalist, then no one connected with classical singers would have a problem with her & would stop complaining.

    KJ is NOT a classically (in the truest sense of the word) trained singer.

    If her promoters stopped calling her an Opera singer – she has never sung an opera, or a Mezzo Soprano then everything would be fine.

    She is a popular singer (good) who occasionally attempts bit of classical music (with mixed results). I’ve no problem with that.

    The problem is when she & others keep on calling her a classical singer which she is not & never will be.

  • So what happened with Warner?

  • anon says:

    Seems as though it is time for a revival of this video, the infamous Jenkins vs Opera Singers: