KATHERINE Jenkins' Guiding Light brings her to York Barbican on Friday.

"It's so nice, having taken time off to have a baby, to be going out on tour again this spring," says the Welsh mezzo-soprano, who last played the Barbican in February 2015.

This time she will be performing favourite songs from her classical repertoire, opera, films and musicals, plus choices from last November's album, accompanied by the London Concert Orchestra, under musical director Anthony Inglis.

Released on Decca Records, Guiding Light represents the culmination of a deeply emotional journey that began when her father, Selwyn, died of lung cancer when she was only 15 and, years later, Katherine found a new path in becoming a mother.

The resulting album of 15 songs embraces life, hope, acceptance and a universal spirituality, as reflected in such tracks as Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace, Morning Has Broken, Never Enough from The Greatest Showman and even a cover of London grime artist Stormzy’s Blinded By Your Grace.

Among the original compositions is the album-closing Xander's Song, written for the newest addition to her family, her son Xander, brother to Aaliyah.

"I have a life now I don’t think I ever expected to have,” says 38-year-old Katherine. "I am very happy, very blessed and I feel incredibly grateful. I feel whole new layers of emotion, which have really taken me by surprise and made me feel like I have found myself, found my true voice."

Her voice has changed, suggests Katherine, through pregnancy relaxing her vocal muscles and giving her a freer, fuller sound. "This album is the most intimate album I've ever made. It’s a mindful collections of songs. I’m not trying to prove anything; I’m not trying to show how many notes I can hit; I just want to take people to a place of emotion and reflection, to touch hearts and souls," she says.

Guiding Light finds Katherine in a contented place. "The whole sentiment of the album is a feeling of so much happiness. I got married [in 2014]; we now have a daughter and son; I feel happy and settled in my personal life, and so the album's about what has brought me to this point," she says. "The 'guiding light' has been many things."

Such as? "Making the album has helped me with losing my father at such a young age; the song from The Greatest Showman, Never Enough, is the song I sing to him.

"With Xander's Song, I started writing this lullaby prayer and at first I wasn't thinking about including it on the album, but my producer suggested I should.

"I'm sure Xander might be embarrassed to hear it at some point in the future!"

The big surprise on Guiding Light is Glastonbury headliner Stormzy's Blinded By Your Grace. "I always like to include traditional songs, hymns, songs from musical theatre, but I also always like to have a wild card, and no, I'm not going to become a grime artist, but I hadn't realised Stormzy was so spiritual," says Katherine.

"So I joined the two parts of his song together and added a choir, and it fits in perfectly with an album where I was looking to create a mood, be it religious or not, or spiritual or not, but definitely my most honest record.

"Whether you're religious or not, the sentiment of that song – being lost but then someone helping to fix you or put you back on the right – track – is something we can all identify with."

At every concert, Katherine's late father is in her thoughts. "Whenever I step out on stage, I always have a word with him, asking him for his blessing," she says.

"That's the reason why I wanted to sing Jealous Of The Angels on this album; the outpouring of responses to that song has been incredible, so I know it's helping other people too."

An Evening With Katherine Jenkins, supported by A J Brown, York Barbican, May 24, 7.30pm. Tickets update: still available on 0844 854 2757 or at yorkbarbican.co.uk

Charles Hutchinson