DIVA TALK: A Chat With Phantom of the Opera and International Concert Star Sarah Brightman

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05 Apr 2013

Sarah Brightman
Sarah Brightman

News, views and reviews about the women of the musical theatre and the concert/cabaret stage.

Sarah Brightman
Singer Sarah Brightman, who created the role of Christine Daae in the London and Broadway productions of The Phantom of the Opera, is about to embark on an extremely creative period that includes the release of her 11th studio album, the launch of an international concert tour that includes numerous U.S. engagements and continued training for travel into space that is now scheduled for sometime in 2015.

The CD, which is entitled "Dreamchaser," will be released April 16 and features Brightman's renditions of such songs as "Angel," "One Day Like This," "Breathe Me," "Ave Maria," "A Song of India" and "Venus and Mars," among others. The critically acclaimed soprano, whose tones seem to soar into the heavens, will then launch her latest concert tour, also entitled "Dreamchaser," June 14 in Taipei. Brightman will play over 40 cities, including a Sept. 21 performance at Radio City Music Hall in Manhattan. The tour, which will also be seen in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Massachusetts and more, will conclude Nov. 2 at the Theatre at the Honda Center in Anaheim, CA. Following the worldwide tour, Brightman will embark on what she has called "the greatest adventure I can imagine." The singing actress, who also appeared on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love, will be part of a three-person team traveling to the International Space Station on board a Soyuz rocket, where she will orbit the earth 16 times daily and become the first professional musician to record a song from space.

Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of chatting with the gifted artist, who spoke about her numerous projects; my interview with the world's biggest-selling soprano, having sold over 30 million records, follows:

Brightman, with Michael Crawford, in Phantom of the Opera.
photo by Clive Barda

Question: Tell me, how did this idea for traveling into space come about? I'm sure you've been asked that a million times lately.
Sarah Brightman: I have! To be honest with you! [Laughs.] I wanted this all to be kept quiet, but it got leaked… I thought I'm just going to have to be honest and go for it… I was a child of the '60s. I was born in 1960, and space theory, especially in the last part of that time and going into the '70s, space was very relevant at that time. It was on television—all the experiments, the moon landings, everything like that. And, you know, as children growing up through that time, it was very much part of our lives—even down to products that were created and there were adverts on them [plus] the dramas on television… Patrick Moore, that was his time for all of the talking about the stars. It actually had a big effect on me, especially watching the first man on the moon. After that time, I thought about things differently, even as a child—and I think a lot of us did. And then, of course, things went very quiet in that area, and the idea of space exploration sort of, for everybody, disappeared for a very long time. It's only now that it's coming up again, especially with all the sub-orbital flights, which now people can all buy tickets for, and it's much more of a reality. So, I think subliminally, a lot of this does sort of stem from that time. Now that it's sort of become a reality, and it's something that, you know, might happen for me—and I say might because anything can happen between now and then, medically or whatever… It's been beautiful because it's an incredibly positive thing, and I've been very creative during the time. Some of the training I've done, and even the idea that it was a reality has, in many ways, helped me create and inspire me to do all the things that I normally do as a musician. It's very hard to pinpoint, but I'm trying to explain to you in the only way that I can about where it stems from. I think having talked to a lot of people, now I've ventured into this area, there are just some people who have a need and a real desire to go, and even to the reality that it's something that they are going to do, they're still very excited. There's no fear. It's almost like a need, and I'm one of those people.


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