WHEN The Herald spoke with Idina Menzel two years ago, she was en route to the airport for a flight. At the start of last week it was in the small hours of morning on America's West Coast that she had a window in her schedule before catching a plane to start a six-date UK tour that winds up at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tomorrow evening. Nonetheless she chats amiably and frankly, happily recalling a Glasgow audience that was characteristically vocal in expressing its enthusiasm.

Since then Menzel has released a classy fifth studio album, Idina, that was a clear attempt to court a new audience that might be more likely to slip an Adele album into the disc player than buy a ticket for a musical theatre show. That was the world from which Menzel came to Rent and Glee on the big and small screen, and of course Let It Go in Disney's Frozen on the animated version. Had the ploy of releasing an album of very personal self-composed pop songs been a success?

"In some respects it has broken through and introduced me to new audiences," she muses, "but not as much as I'd have liked. People have a preconceived notion of what you do, so when I put out new music, it should show different facets of who I am as a performer."

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If Menzel would like to have seen the new album sell more copies to pop fans – and they'd be hearing a better singer than on many other albums in their collections, beyond argument – she as much concerned with the audience that fills the concerts halls and theatres.

"I notice that in live performances there are new people in the audience, and that is how we as performers make a living these days."

And these days Menzel has a range of options as to what sort of live performance she chooses to do.

"I have a good balance and am more in control of how I choose to spend my time. When you are doing a Broadway show eight times a week you can burn out, but working in the studio can be very lonely – so then I go out and do some shows."

After a career that was based on Broadway success, she has nothing in the diary on the musical theatre stage at present but is involved in the development of projects she is confident will come to fruition. Ask her what we should be looking forward to seeing on this side of the Atlantic and she unhesitatingly, and unsurprisingly, recommends Dear Evan Hansen, which had scooped six Tony Awards the night before we speak.

"It's set to go out on tour here," she says, "so it will get to you guys eventually!"

Even if the Adele fans have not made Idina (the album) a platinum seller, television talent shows have made clear that a musical theatre style of singing is seen as something to admire and strive for, and Menzel is not minded to complain about that.

"The opportunity for the music to be appreciated and become more mainstream is a good thing – people appreciate how difficult it is to singing that kind of music, so there is more respect for people in my line of work.

"And there is a real appreciation for great live performances. You can do a do a lot of things with computers, but you can't fool people when it is live. Onstage it is authentic and beautiful, and people are starving for that."

Idina Menzel is in concert at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall tomorrow evening.