Thousands watch Katherine Jenkins’ Royal Albert Hall VE Day performance

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Katherine Jenkins performs during a behind-closed-doors concert commemorating VE Day at Royal Alber
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 07: Katherine Jenkins performs during a behind-closed-doors concert commemorating VE Day at Royal Albert Hall on May 07, 2020 in London, England. Friday 8 May 2020 marks 75 years since Victory in Europe (VE) Day, the end of the Second World War in Europe. The performance can be watched from 18:00 BST on Friday 8 May 2020 on the Royal Albert Hall’s YouTube channel. (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for ABA)

Thousands have watched an online performance of Katherine Jenkins singing in front of an empty Royal Albert Hall as she marked the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The mezzo-soprano singer, 39, performed wartime favourites in the concert, which was streamed on YouTube.

Her performance also featured a virtual duet with Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, who entertained troops during the Second World War.

In the pre-recorded concert, which was later streamed live, Jenkins sang Dame Vera’s We’ll Meet Again alongside archive footage and audio from one of her wartime performances.

More than 13,000 people have watched Jenkins’s performance on the Royal Albert Hall’s YouTube channel.

During her performance, Jenkins said: “On this anniversary, we are here to appreciate those who gave so much so that we could live our lives in peace and freedom.

“Today, the Royal Albert Hall stands empty, just as it did during the Blitz, without its true life force – the audiences who fill it with energy night after night.

“But the doors will open again, as they did following the last world war, and the music will play on.”

Before her performance began, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan delivered a message to mark the anniversary.

“Just as we united to achieve victory back then, I am confident that together we will overcome adversity again,” he said.

Jenkins said her performance left her “speechless” and was “one of the most incredible experiences of my career”.

Sentebale Audi Concert 2019 – London
(Andrew Matthews/PA)

She added: “I have sound-checked here many times before for my own concerts so thought I’d know how it might feel today, but it really was something special.”

The concert was in support of the Royal Albert Hall’s fundraising appeal and armed forces charity SSAFA’s Emergency Response Fund.

Last month, Andrea Bocelli moved fans around the world when he sang from an empty cathedral.

The Italian tenor, 61, performed on Easter Sunday from Milan’s Duomo accompanied only by the cathedral organist because of the coronavirus lockdown.


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