When it comes to lady entertainers, Wales has given us some corkers: Shirley Bassey and my old mate Dorothy Squires are just two.
And Kathryn Jenkins--a veritable lodestar of talent, in a country which does not have that much to offer.
Last night, in her television spectacular she was exemplary. Okay, so the purists will say she's not an opera singer. That's not because she isn't, but because no such offers have yet come her way, and because mezzos are usually limited to second-billing, when Kathryn is an artiste of premiere class.
So, stop the comparisons with Callas, who would have been 89 today, and examine what we have. The lady is beautiful--the only comparison I make with Callas--she can hit a perfect Top C and sustain it, and she can drop to a sumptuous controlled contralto. She can do coloratura, and I should imagine she would be pretty nifty at bel canto. With other voices, which sees others failing, she excels: listen to her with Il Divo! The only low points of her show last night were a trio of squawking catawaulers attempting a paltry emulation of The Supremes, a silly pianist who thought he was Les Dawson, but without the talent, and Mark Benton, a comic I wouldn't pay in co-op checks.
But Ms Jenkins! Quite simply the best of the best of the best!
Oh, and she does a superlative Argentine Tango as well!