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Last Updated: Monday, 12 April, 2004, 11:15 GMT 12:15 UK
Classical star tops the charts
Katherine Jenkins
Katherine Jenkins is the Welsh rugby mascot
Wales' latest singing sensation, Katherine Jenkins, has become the fastest-selling female opera singer since Maria Callas.

The former teacher's debut album, Premiere, is number one in the classical charts.

The 23-year-old from Neath regularly sings the national anthem before Welsh home games.

In March she clinched a 1m-plus recording deal with Universal records, thought to be the biggest contract ever signed by a British classical artist.

The mezzo-soprano said she was delighted to have got to number one.

Ambitions

"My three ambitions have always been to sing at the Millennium Stadium and the Sydney Opera House," she said, "and to get to number one in the classical charts and I can't believe I've done all three.

"I am totally overwhelmed," she added.

Jenkins graduated from the Royal Academy in 2002 and recently gave up her job as a music teacher.

Her record label represents a series of other classical performers - including fellow Welsh singer Bryn Terfel, Pavarotti and Placido Domingo.

Jenkins has been touring with another Universal artist, Hayley Westenra.

The 16-year-old from New Zealand had the top-selling classical album of the year with her debut Pure, which has sold almost 600,000 copies in the UK


SEE ALSO:
Classical star strikes 1m deal
17 Mar 04  |  Wales


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