Katherine Jenkins to sing alone in the historic Royal Albert Hall for 75th VE Day anniversary

4 May 2020, 12:28 | Updated: 4 May 2020, 13:06

Katherine Jenkins to sing in an empty Royal Albert Hall for VE Day 75
Katherine Jenkins to sing in an empty Royal Albert Hall for VE Day 75. Picture: Snappin’ Turtle/The Royal Albert Hall

By Helena Asprou

The exclusive concert will be Jenkins’ 46th appearance at the iconic venue, and will include a heartfelt virtual duet with Dame Vera Lynn.

Katherine Jenkins OBE is giving an exclusive live performance at The Royal Albert Hall to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

The half-hour virtual concert will take place behind the London venue’s closed doors at 6pm on Friday 8 May (watch trailer below) to bring together nations around the world as the coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold.

But unlike Jenkins’ usual sell-out shows, the classical-crossover singer will be performing her beautiful programme of music – which includes popular hymn, ‘Jerusalem’ and wartime favourite, ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ – to an empty auditorium.

Viewers will also be treated to a virtual duet of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Dame Vera Lynn (recently released by the musical duo as a charity single) – and in these uncertain times, its lyrics “I know we’ll meet again some sunny day” are especially poignant.

Read more: Sir Nicolas Soames to present a special show on Classic FM to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day >

Speaking about her upcoming performance, Jenkins said: “In London on VE Day 1945, over a million people celebrated Victory in Europe and the end of nearly six years of war. Crowds gathered en masse in Trafalgar Square and up the Mall to Buckingham Palace and whilst we may not be able to celebrate this year as we once did, it’s only right that we don’t allow the 75th anniversary of this historic day to be overshadowed.

“Having been part of the 60th and 70th events, I wanted to do something to help bring the nation and the world together in commemoration and celebration at this difficult time. I’m excited that we can still come together, albeit virtually, for a tribute of wartime songs and musical memories from London’s most iconic concert venue. The Royal Albert Hall will be seen like never before – empty, isolated and yet still breathtakingly magnificent!”

Dame Vera Lynn added: “I’ll never forget how ‘We’ll Meet Again’ meant so much to all those soldiers going off to war as well as with their families and sweethearts. Seventy-five years since the end of the war in Europe, the virus has given those lyrics a whole new meaning. I have found the nation’s renewed love for the song very moving. I hope this special duet lifts the spirits of our VE Day Veterans and all those separated from loved ones at this time.”

The online show will be the first in a series of performances made possible by the ‘London Together’ initiative, which encourages Londoners to highlight great examples of positive community action and pays tribute to the UK’s heroic healthcare staff, emergency services, key workers and volunteers.

Funded by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan who will be introducing Jenkins personally in a video message, it also forms part of the Royal Albert Hall’s #RoyalAlbertHome series, which is helping to keep people entertained during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Katherine Jenkins’ virtual performance at The Royal Albert Hall will be available to stream via YouTube on Friday 8 May at 6pm BST.