Broadway and international concert star Sarah Brightman, best known to theatre audiences for her role as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, will release a new recording of theatre songs next month.
The Decca Broadway release, which is titled "Encore" (theatre fans will note that another British star, Elaine Paige, has a disc of the same name), will feature both well-known and obscure tunes by the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Alan Jay Lerner, Richard Rodgers and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The 15-track disc features nine songs by composer Lloyd Webber, Brightman's former husband. Brightman lends her soprano to Lloyd Webber's "Think of Me" (The Phantom of the Opera), "Surrender" (Sunset Boulevard), "Half a Moment" (By Jeeves), "There Is More to Love" (Aspects of Love), "The Last Man in My Life" and "Nothing Like You've Ever Known" (both from Song & Dance) as well as the title tune from Whistle Down the Wind and Italian versions of Cats' "Memory" and Sunset Boulevard "With One Look."
Among the lesser-known gems are Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane's "One More Walk Around the Garden," which is from their 1959 musical Carmelina; the Gershwins' "In the Mandarin's Orchid Garden" from their unproduced musical East Is West; and "If I Ever Fall in Love," a tune from Peter Greenwall's West End flop, The Crooked Mile. "Encore" also features Stephen Sondheim's ode to New York, "What More Do I Need," and the disc's final track is Puccini's achingly beautiful "Chi Il Bel Sogno Di Doretta" from La Rondine.
Brightman, who had a seventies dance hit on the British pop charts, caught the public's attention in Lloyd Webber's megahit The Phantom of the Opera. She also appeared in his musical Aspects of Love before launching an concert and recording career. Her duet with tenor Andrea Boccelli, "Time to Say Goodbye," was certified gold in the U.S. and was number one on the Billboard charts for over 30 weeks. "Encore" arrives in stores April 30.
—By Andrew Gans