Sarah Brightman

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Sarah Brightman
Osaka07 Opening Sarah Brightman.jpg
Sarah Brightman at the World Athletics Championships in Osaka in 2007
Background information
Born (1960-08-14) 14 August 1960 (age 53)
Origin Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England
Genres Classical crossover, operatic pop, world music, ambient, symphonic rock, pop, rock, electronica
Occupations Singer, actress, songwriter, dancer
Instruments Vocals, piano, keyboards
Years active 1972–present
Labels A&M (1993)
East West (1995–2001)
Angel/EMI (1997–2007)
Manhattan/EMI (2008–2010)
Simha LLC (2012–Present)
Website www.sarah-brightman.com

Sarah Brightman (born 14 August 1960) is an English classical crossover soprano, actress, songwriter and dancer. She has sung in many languages, including English, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Italian, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and Catalan.[1]

Brightman began her career as a member of the dance troupe Hot Gossip and released several disco singles as a solo performer. In 1981, she made her West End musical theatre debut in Cats and met composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she married. She went on to star in several West End and Broadway musicals, including The Phantom of the Opera, where she originated the role of Christine Daaé. The Original London Cast Album of the musical was released in CD format in 1987 and sold 40 million copies worldwide, making it the biggest-selling cast album of all time.[2]

After retiring from the stage and divorcing Lloyd Webber, Brightman resumed her music career with former Enigma producer Frank Peterson, this time as a classical crossover artist. She is often credited as the creator of this genre and remains among the most prominent performers, with worldwide sales of more than 30 million records and 2 million DVDs, establishing herself as the world's best-selling soprano of all time.[3][4][5]

Brightman's 1996 duet with the Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye", topped charts all over Europe and became the highest and fastest selling single of all time in Germany, where it stayed at the top of the charts for fourteen consecutive weeks and sold over 3 million copies.[6][7] It subsequently became an international success selling 12 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling singles of all time.[8][9][10][11] She has now collected over 180 gold and platinum sales awards in 38 different countries.[12] In 2010 she was named by Billboard the 5th most influential and best-selling classical artist of the 2000s decade in the US[13] and according to Nielsen SoundScan, she has sold 6.5 million albums in the country.[14]

Brightman is the first artist to have been invited twice to perform at the Olympic Games, first at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games where she sang "Amigos Para Siempre" with the Spanish tenor José Carreras with an estimated global audience of a billion people, and sixteen years later in Beijing, this time with Chinese singer Liu Huan, performing the song "You and Me" to an estimated 4 billion people worldwide.[15]

In 2012, Brightman was appointed as the UNESCO Artist for Peace for the period 2012–2014, for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization".[16] Also, since 2010, Brightman is Panasonic's global brand ambassador.[17]

Apart from music, Brightman has begun a film career, making her debut in Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008), a rock opera-musical film directed by Darren Lynn Bousman, and in autumn 2011 and early 2012 Stephen Evans' "First Night", starring opposite Richard E. Grant.[18][19] Brightman is the world's richest female classical performer with a fortune of £36m (about US$56m).[20] As of 2012, she is training for a space journey to the International Space Station, currently set for 2015.[21]

Family and early life[edit]

Brightman is the oldest of six children of businessman Grenville Geoffrey Brightman (1934[22]–1992) and Paula Brightman. Her younger sisters are Nicola, Claudia and Amelia (aka Violet). She was raised in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England. At age three, she began taking dance and piano classes and went on to perform in local festivals and competitions.[23] At age 11, she successfully auditioned for the Arts Education School in Tring Park, a school specialising in performing arts.

Education: Elmhurst Ballet School, Arts Educational School, and Royal College of Music.

In 1973, at the age of 13, Brightman made her theatrical debut in the musical I and Albert at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, playing one of Queen Victoria's daughters (Victoria). In 1976 she was recruited to lead Arlene Phillips' troupe Hot Gossip in 1977. The group had a disco hit in 1978 with "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper", which sold half a million and reached number six on the UK charts. Brightman, now solo, released more disco singles under her own label, Whisper Records, such as "Not Having That!" and a cover of the song "My Boyfriend's Back".[24] In 1979, Brightman appeared on the soundtrack of the movie "The World Is Full of Married Men" and sang the song "Madam Hyde".

1981–1989: Stage career[edit]

In 1981, Brightman auditioned for the new musical Cats, by composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, and was cast as Jemima. After a year in Cats, Brightman took over from Bonnie Langford as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance at the Drury Lane Theatre, London, and appeared as Tara Treetops in Masquerade, a musical based on Kit Williams's book of the same title. In that year she left to play the title role in Charles Strouse's children's opera, Nightingale.[25]

Enticed by a rave review, Webber went to watch her in the show one evening and was greatly impressed by her performance. Though she had appeared in his musical Cats, Webber had not previously singled Brightman out as a great talent. The two married in 1984, and Brightman appeared in Lloyd Webber's subsequent musicals including The Phantom of the Opera and Song and Dance, as well as the mass Requiem, which was written and composed for her.[25]

Scarcely a year later, Brightman's recording of Pie Jesu rocketed up the charts, selling 25,000 copies[25] on the first day of release and peaking at number 3, no mean feat for a song in Latin. With classical music permeating the Lloyd Webber household (Brightman was in heavy operatic training at the time), Lloyd Webber was moved to write the Requiem Mass as a tribute to young victims of war. Its Manhattan premiere, starring Plácido Domingo and Brightman, was filmed by both PBS and the BBC for later broadcast. The LP eventually became UK's top selling classical album of the year and earned Brightman a Grammy nomination as Best New Classical Artist."[26]

Michael Crawford and Brightman performing the title song, "The Phantom of the Opera"

Brightman starred as Christine Daaé in Lloyd Webber's adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. The role of Christine was written specifically for her.[26] Lloyd Webber refused to open The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway unless Brightman played Christine. Initially, the American Actors' Equity Association balked, because of their policy that any non-American performer must be an international star. Lloyd Webber had to cast an American in a leading role in his next West End musical before Equity would allow Brightman to appear (a promise he kept in casting Aspects of Love). In the end, it was a compromise that more than paid off. "Phantom" chalked up a staggering $17 million in advance sales prior to opening night on 26 January 1988, and generated a public and media frenzy that is unmatched since.[27] The original cast album was the first in British musical history to enter the music charts at number one. Album sales now exceed forty million worldwide and it is the biggest selling cast album of all time, and has gone six times platinum in the United States, twice platinum in the UK, nine times platinum in Germany, four times platinum in the Netherlands, 21 times platinum in Korea and 17 times platinum in Taiwan.[28]

After leaving Phantom, she performed in a tour of Lloyd Webber's music throughout England, Canada and the United States, and performed Requiem in the Soviet Union. Studio recordings from this time include the single "Anything But Lonely" from Aspects of Love and two solo albums: the 1988 album The Trees They Grow So High, a collection of folk songs accompanied by piano, and the 1989 album The Songs That Got Away, a compilation of obscure musical theatre songs from shows by such composers as Irving Berlin and Stephen Sondheim. Brightman also sang the song "Make Believe" during the credits of the children's film "Grandpa;" Howard Blake composed the music and wrote the lyrics.[29]

By 1990, Brightman and Lloyd Webber had separated.[30] After their highly publicized divorce, Brightman played the lead in Lloyd Webber's Aspects in London opposite Michael Praed, before transferring to Broadway.[31] Her subsequent solo album, As I Came of Age, was an eclectic collection of folk-rock and musical theatre songs that Brightman herself chose.[25]

1990s: Solo career[edit]

In 1992, Brightman performed with José Carreras at the Barcelona Olympic Games singing the theme song "Amigos Para Siempre" ("Friends Forever") to a worldwide audience of 3 billion people. Following the appearance, Brightman pursued solo recording, and inspired by the German band Enigma, she requested to work with one of it's members, Frank Peterson. Their first release together was Dive (1993), a water-themed pop album that featured "Captain Nemo", a cover of a song by the Swedish electronica band Dive.[32] The album is considered Brightman's first success as a recording solo artist, receiving her first Gold award in Canada.[33]

Brightman and Peterson's second collaboration yielded the pop rock album, Fly (1995). The album catapulted Brightman to fame across Europe, and she unveiled its hit track "A Question of Honor"—a mélange of electronic, rock, classical strings and excerpts from the Alfredo Catalani opera "La Wally".[34] The song and the video were introduced at the World Boxing Championship match between Germany's Henry Maske and Graciano Rocchigiani.

In 1997, Brightman released the album Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye. It remains as Brightman's biggest-selling album. It went gold, platinum and/or multi-platinum in 21 countries, selling over 1.4 million copies in the U.S. alone, and topped the Billboard Classical Crossover chart in the U.S. for 35 weeks.[35] The lead single from the album, "Time to Say Goodbye", was the second song that Brightman debuted at the World Boxing Championship in Germany. This duet with tenor Andrea Bocelli became an international hit and sold more than 3 million copies in Germany alone,[36] became Germany's best-selling single, and was successful in numerous other countries; the album eventually sold over 12 million copies worldwide.[13]

In March 1998, Brightman produced her first own PBS special, Sarah Brightman: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.[37] The same year, Brightman starred A Gala Christmas in Vienna alongside Plácido Domingo, Helmut Lottie and Riccardo Cocciante singing traditional Christmas carols.[38] On 7 April 1998 she was one of the guest stars in Andrew Lloyd Webber's 50th Birthday Celebration singing Hossanaa with Dennis O'Neill, Pie Jesu, Phantom of the Opera with Antonio Banderas, All I Ask of You with Michael Ball and Music of the Night.[39]

With the success of Timeless, Brightman released her next album, Eden in 1998. She hand-selected each song and convinced the Academy Award-winning Italian composer Ennio Morricone to let her set lyrics to one of his film compositions, "Gabriel's Oboe" from the film The Mission resulting in the now classic piece "Nella Fantasia". The album, unlike Time to Say Goodbye, incorporated more pop music elements. Reviews were mixed – LAUNCHcast deemed Eden "deliriously sappy",[40] while Allmusic called Eden "a winning combination".[41] Eden reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Classical Crossover chart and No. 65 on the Billboard 200 charts and was certified Gold in the United States.

2000–2004: Further international success[edit]

In 2000, La Luna was released. For this album, Brightman chose songs drawing on influences as diverse as pop, vintage jazz, and high opera, in homages to Dvořák, Beethoven and Billie Holiday. La Luna reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Top Internet Albums and peaked at No. 17 on the Billboard 200 chart, becoming Brightman's second highest-selling album in the United States with sales of 900,000 and reaching Gold certification.[13] It became her biggest-selling album in Asia, and her first album to be certified Diamond in China.[42] The album was the best-seller by an international artist in South Korea and Taiwan.[43][44]

At her 2000 PBS La Luna concert, Brightman sang There for Me in a duet with an up-and-coming star, Josh Groban. The same year, Brightman sold more records than Elton John and the Rolling Stones, becoming the highest-selling and top-touring British artist in North America.[45] At the end of 2001, Billboard magazine noted Brightman as the most important classical crossover artist from the United Kingdom.[46]

In 2001, Brightman released Classics, an anthology including highlights from three of Brightman's chart-topping releases along with seven new tracks; this was released worldwide except Europe. In the U.S. the album peaked at No. 66 on the Billboard 200 chart and went Gold.[47] In Canada it peaked at No. 9 and was certified Platinum; and in Japan, Classics became Brightman's most successful release at the time with 300,000 units sold and reaching Platinum status.[48]

Her 2003 album Harem represented another departure: a Middle Eastern-themed album influenced by dance music. On Harem, Brightman collaborated with artists such as Ofra Haza and Iraqi singer Kazem al-Saher. Nigel Kennedy contributed violin tracks to the songs "Free" and "The War is Over", and Jaz Coleman contributed arrangements.[26]

The album peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard 200 chart,[49] No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart, No. 1 on the Swedish Album Chart, and yielded a No. 1 dance/club single with the remix of the title track. Some time later, another single from the album (the ballad "Free", cowritten with Sophie B. Hawkins) became a second Top-10 hit on this chart.

The albums Eden, La Luna and Harem were accompanied by live world tours which incorporated the theatricality of her stage origins. Brightman acknowledged this in an interview, saying, "They're incredibly complicated...[but also] natural. I know what works, what doesn't work, all the old tricks".[50] In both 2000 and 2001, Brightman was among the top 10 most popular British performers in the U.S., with concert sales grossing $7.2 million from 34 shows in 2000 and over $5 million from 21 shows in 2001.[46]

In 2004 the Harem World Tourgrossed $60 million and sold 700,000 tickets,[26] $15 million and 225,000 sales of which came from the North American leg, although with ticket prices raised 30% from previous tours, average sales per venue were up 65%.[49] In North America, Harem tour promoters Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation) took the unusual step of advertising to theatre subscribers, in an effort to reach fans of Brightman's Broadway performances, and also sold VIP tickets, at $750 each, that included in-stage seating during the concert and a backstage pass.[49] Tour reviews were mixed: one critic from the New York Times called the La Luna tour "not so much divine but post-human" and "unintentionally disturbing: a beautiful argument of emptiness."[51] In contrast, a reviewer from the Boston Globe deemed the Harem tour "unique, compelling" and "charmingly effective."

Television specials on PBS were produced for nearly every Brightman album in the U.S.; a director of marketing has credited these as her number-one source of exposure in the country.[46] Indeed, her concert for Eden was among PBS's highest-grossing pledge events.[52]

2006–2008: Diva and Symphony[edit]

Brightman released a DVD collection of her music videos on 3 October 2006 under the title of Diva: The Video Collection. The Singles Collection is the accompanying CD, released on the same date. The album marked the first time Brightman released a greatest hits album in the United States; it reached No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart. In Japan, the album debuted and peaked at No. 2 with 77,000 copies sold on its first week of release, and became Japan's biggest-selling classical album of 2007. By 2008, the album achieved a Double-Platinum certification.[53] With Diva, Brightman was also South Korea's best-selling international artist of 2010 as the album topped the international charts all throughout the year. Although the original 2006 release experimented limited success, the album charted in 2009 and 2010 when Brightman toured South Korea with the Symphony World Tour and Sarah Brightman in Concert With Orchestra. Diva was certified Quintuple Platinum and it's digital single, "Nella Fantasia" sold over 2 million units.[54] Other reflective offerings for Europe were The Very Best of 1990–2000 and Classics: The Best of Sarah Brightman.

Brightman performing in Auburn Hills during her Symphony World Tour.

During this time, subsequent appearances included the Concert for Diana in July 2007, where she sang "All I Ask of You" from The Phantom of the Opera with Josh Groban. Around 15 million people across the U.K. watched Concert for Diana at home, and it was broadcast to over 500 million homes in 140 countries; On 7 July 2007 Brightman performed four songs ("Nessun Dorma", "La Luna", "Nella Fantasia" and "Time to Say Goodbye") at the Live Earth Concert Serie, and debuted her single "Running" at the 2007 IAAF Championships in Osaka, Japan.[55] In this period Brightman also recorded a duet with Anne Murray singing "Snowbird", which was included on Murray's 2007 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends.[56]

In the United Kingdom, On May 2007, Brightman sang along soprano Lesley Garrett at Wembley Stadium the anthem "Abide With Me" before the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United,[57] and participated as well in a dinner held at The Mansion House, where the Prince of Wales highlighted the urgent need for action to halt tropical deforestation. Brightman sang at the event to engage the financial community in the task of finding a solution to the problem of making rainforests "worth more alive than dead". The music performed was Nella Fantasia and was further declared hymn to the rainforests.[58]

On 29 January 2008, Brightman released her first album in five years: Symphony, influenced by gothic music.[59] In the United States, it became Brightman's most successful chart entry and also her highest ranked album on Billboard's "Top 200 Albums". It was also a No. 1 album on two other Billboard's charts: "Top Internet Albums" and "Top Classical Crossover Albums". The album moved there 32,033 copies in first week,[60] according to Nielsen Soundscan. The album was a Multi-Platinum and a top 5 release in China, Taiwan, Canada, Mexico and Japan and a top 20 across Europe.[61]

Featured on the album were artists Andrea Bocelli, Fernando Lima, and KISS vocalist Paul Stanley, who duets with Brightman on "I Will Be with You", the album version of the theme song to the 10th Pokémon motion picture, Dialga VS Palkia VS Darkrai (Pokémon: The Rise of Darkrai).[62] On 16 January 2008, she also appeared in concert at Vienna's Stephansdom Cathedral, performing songs from her new album. Special guests who sang duets with Brightman include Italian tenor Alessandro Safina, Argentinean countertenor Fernando Lima, and British singer Chris Thompson.

Brightman performing in "Live Earth Concert" in China (2007).

Brightman performed "Pie Jesu" and "There You'll Be" at the United States Memorial Day concert on 25 May 2008 held on the west lawn of the United States Capitol in Washington DC. The show was broadcast live on PBS before a concert audience of 300,000, as well as to American troops serving around the world on the American Forces Radio and Television Network.[63][64] Brightman made her feature film debut as Blind Mag in the rock musical film Repo! The Genetic Opera which was released on 7 November 2008.[65][66][67] Brightman was cast in the film at the last minute after the original actress who was cast for the role was dropped.[67]

On 8 August 2008, Brightman was honoured to sing the Olympic theme song, "You and Me", with Chinese star Liu Huan in both Mandarin and English at the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. The performance was broadcast to over five billion viewers. In the 26 hours after the performance, "You and Me" was downloaded 5.7 million times.[68][69]

Brightman released her first holiday album, entitled A Winter Symphony on 4 November 2008. The album debuted at number No. 38 on the Billboard 200 and scored a number six in the Top Holiday Albums.[70] The album was composed of an array of Christmas favourites including "Silent Night" and "In the Bleak Midwinter". Also featured are a duet in "Ave Maria" with Mexican Tenor Fernando Lima, covers of pop tracks including Abba's instrumental song "Arrival" plus a rendition of Neil Diamond's, "I've Been this Way Before".

To accompany Symphony and A Winter Symphony, Brightman embarked on a tour in Autumn 2008; "The Symphony World Tour", that included virtual and holographic stage sets.[71]

2009–2010: High-profile career in Latin America and Asia[edit]

In response to persistent calls for a global release of the Symphony: Live in Vienna concert, EMI Music launched worldwide the PBS special which featured Brightman's performance at Vienna's St. Stephen's Cathedral on 16 January 2008, in both audio and visual formats. The Symphony—Live in Vienna television special debuted on PBS in March 2008 during the network's spring pledge drive and aired throughout the month.[72] Symphony: Live in Vienna was listed as the thirteenth best-selling album of the year in Mexico.[73]

The music of Brightman was featured in the movie Amarufi: Megami no hôshû (international title: Amalfi: Rewards of the Goddess), which was a special production to mark Fuji Television's 50th anniversary, the first Japanese movie to be shot entirely on location in Italy. In conjunction with the release of the movie Amalfi, Brightman released only in Japan an album titled Amalfi - Sarah Brightman Love Songs which reached Gold status and was Japan's best-selling classical album of 2009. At the end of the year, Brightman was the seventh best selling international artist in Japan.[53][74][75]

Brightman performing in Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Brightman performed a concert tour called Sarah Brightman in Concert during october 2009. It covered South America with 13 performances in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil. The last venue of the tour, "The Concert of the Pyramid" featured Brightman performing a concert at the archaeological site of Chichen Itza, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.[76] One year later, in 2010, Brightman continued touring Asia with five performances in Tokyo alone, followed by presentations in Kanazawa, Nagoya, Osaka in Japan, Macau in China and Seoul in South Korea.[77][78][79]

Brightman appeared on America's Got Talent on the September 2010 finale episode before that season's winner was revealed. She joined ten-year-old contestant Jackie Evancho to sing Time to Say Goodbye.[80]

On 3 November 2010, Brightman was invited to sing at the Tōdai-ji Buddhist temple complex located in the city of Nara, Japan. The temple is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara".[81][82] The concert was recorded and later broadcast nationwide by TBS network.[83]

2011 – present: Dreamchaser, UNESCO and trip to space[edit]

On 1 and 2 October 2011, Brightman made a special appearance during the finale of The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall; a fully staged production performed at the famous London venue—marking 25 years since the musical received its world premiere. Introduced as his "Angel of Music" by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Brightman performed the title song backed by five past, present and future Phantoms. The production front of an audience of 5,500 was broadcast live into cinemas around the globe including in the US, around Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia.[84]

In early 2012, Brightman received the UNESCO Artist for Peace Award for her "commitment to humanitarian and charitable causes, her contribution, throughout her artistic career, to the promotion of cultural dialogue and the exchanges among cultures, and her dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization".[16] Complementarily, she was appointed as Panasonic's global brand ambassador, and is the face of Panasonic's strategic partnership agreement with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as she starred in their joint campaign, "The World Heritage Special," that was aired on the National Geographic Channel worldwide.[17]

Brightman in Russia during 2012, on her cosmonaut training

On 10 October 2012, Brightman hosted a press conference in Moscow announcing her intention to launch on a future orbital spaceflight mission to the International Space Station (ISS) in partnership with Space Adventures, Ltd., a private space experiences company.[85]

Brightman will be part of a three-person crew travelling to the International Space Station on board the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft in 2015.[86] Once on the ISS she will orbit Earth 16 times daily and intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.[87] The final scheduling of her trip to the space station will be determined by Roscosmos and the ISS partners in the coming months.[88]

During her estimated 10-day tenure on board the space station, Brightman will advocate for UNESCO's mandate to promote peace and sustainable development to safeguard earth's future.[89] Additionally, Brightman will use this journey to advance female education and empowerment in science and technology in an effort to help close gender gap in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields.[90]

On 26 January 2013, Brightman attended The Phantom of the Opera—25 Years on Broadway Gala Performance in New York City at the Marquee Theatre, where she accepted a proclamation naming.[91][92] Later on 2013, Brightman was invited to perform "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Scarborough Fair" at the Beijing International Film Festival Closing Ceremony at the China National Convention Center.[93]

On 16 April 2013, Brightman's released her eleventh studio album, Dreamchaser. The offering was inspired by her decision to become the first singer in outer space. This album was Brightman's first collaboration with producer Mike Hedges and Sally Herbert.[94] It received acclaim from critics, many considering it Brightman’s strongest work to date,[95] and many pointed out the coherence of the song choices and the quality of Brightman's vocals.[96][97] Dreamchaser was Brightman's first album to enter on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart, became her seventh No. 1 album in the Billboard Classical Chart and made a strong debut in the Billboard 200 at No. 17 moving 20,358 copies on its first week of release.[98]

During the fall season 2013, Brightman performed the Dreamchaser World Tour in the United States, Canada, Mexico,[99] China, Japan,[100] South Korea, Thailand,[101][102] Hong Kong, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Brazil,[103] Chile,[104] Argentina, Russia, Sweden, Ukraine, Latvia, Finland, Turkey and Bulgaria.[105][106][107] The Dreamchaser World Tour was very successful as it entered the list of the top-grossing tours in North America during the respective season.[108][109] On 6 June, Brightman filmed a new PBS TV special entitled "Sarah Brightman: Dreamchaser In Concert" at Elstree studios where she set up a competition so fans could have the chance of winning tickets to attend the exclusive filming.[110] "Dreamchaser In Concert" aired on PBS on 3 August, with a setlist of twelve songs (plus two bonus songs) featuring both new songs and well-known favorites.[111]

On March 2014, Brightman released a compilation album called Voce – Sarah Brightman Beautiful Songs available only in the Japanese region. Her album included well-known songs, rare-tracks and a special new song called "Keep the Light", which was recorded for the Japanese movie Kamisama no Karute 2.

Music and voice[edit]

Brightman underwent vocal training first with Elizabeth Hawes, head of the Trinity Music College in London, and later with Ellen Faull of Juilliard. She currently studies with internationally known voice teacher David Romano. She has a three-octave vocal range.[112] According to Brightman, her voice sometimes reaches an F6.[113] However, her highest note sung in public and in studio is the E6 final of "The Phantom of the Opera".

David Caddick, a conductor of Phantom, has stated:

"What is amazing about Sarah is that she has two voices, really. She can produce a pop, contemporary sound, but she can also blossom out into a light soprano. The soprano part of her voice can go up to an E natural above high C. She doesn’t sing it full out, but it is there. Of course, she has to dance while she is singing some of the time, so it’s all the more extraordinary."[31]

She sometimes uses her pop and classical voices in the same song. One example is "Anytime, Anywhere" from Eden, a song based on Albinoni's Adagio in G minor. In the song, she starts out in classical voice, switches to pop voice temporarily, and finishes with her classical voice. Another example is heard in the Lions Gate film Repo! The Genetic Opera, during the songs "Chase The Morning" and "Chromaggia" by her character, Blind Mag.

Brightman's music is generally classified as classical crossover. According to Manhattan Records GM Ian Ralfini, she is largely responsible for the popularity of the genre. In a 2000 interview with People, Brightman dismissed the classical crossover label as "horrible" but stated she understood people's need to categorise music.[114] Her personal influences include 1960s and 1970s musicians and artists such as David Bowie and Pink Floyd,[26] and she incorporates aspects of genres from pop/rock to classical. Her work has also been compared to that of Madonna, Cher and Celine Dion.[115] The material on her albums ranges from versions of opera arias from composers such as Puccini (on Harem, Eden, and Timeless), to pop songs by artists such as Kansas ("Dust in the Wind" on Eden), Dido ("Here with Me" on La Luna), and Procol Harum ("A Whiter Shade of Pale" on La Luna). She sings in many languages which are English, Spanish, French, Latin, German, Italian, Russian, Hindi, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese.

Personal life[edit]

At age 18, in 1979, Brightman married Andrew Graham-Stewart, who then managed the German band Tangerine Dream.[116] In 1983, she divorced Graham-Stewart. She met Andrew Lloyd Webber when she performed in Cats, and Lloyd Webber later divorced his first wife, Sarah Hugill, to marry her on 22 March 1984.[117][118] in Hampshire. Their marriage saw intense media and tabloid scrutiny. Brightman acknowledged the marriage in a 1999 interview as a "difficult time" but also one of much creative output. They are currently on friendly terms; at the 20th London anniversary of The Phantom of the Opera, Lloyd Webber called Brightman a "wonderful woman" and "absolutely beloved mentor". He appeared as a special guest in her 1997 concert at the Royal Albert Hall (London).

Brightman has suffered several personal crises. In February 1992, her 57-year-old father committed suicide by asphyxiation in his car in Hertfordshire after divorce and financial issues.[119] Later, she experienced an ectopic pregnancy and two miscarriages with Peterson. In an interview with British magazine Hello!, she said motherhood would have been "lovely" but accepted that she would never have a child.[120]

Philanthropy[edit]

Since January 2010, Brightman is Panasonic's global Brand Ambassador. Together they launched the song "Shall Be Done" at Panasonic's Olympic Pavilion at Live City Yaletown, the official celebration site of the 2010 Winter Games held in Vancouver, Canada. The lyrics of the song express Panasonic's vision for the next generation as well as Brightman's vision, infusing the spirit of 'ideas for life' of contribution for a sustainable society. The song has been used in a wide range of global promotional activities including stores, advertising, exhibitions and other events.

On 8 February 2012, Brightman accepted the UNESCO nomination to be an "Artist For Peace" Ambassador.[121] Additionally, she is actively engaged in Panasonic's UNESCO World Heritage Centre endeavours, and stars in their The World Heritage Special campaign.

In 2012, in conjunction with Virgin Galactic, The Brightman STEM Scholarship program (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) was launched. It will help young women in the US pursue STEM education across their four-year college careers.

On 27 June 2013, the Reignwood Group announced at the Beijing Theatre that Brightman would be a promotional ambassador for its 10 Trinity Square, a landmark in the Reignwood Group's global expansion, in London for the next four years. This is the second time for the group to cooperate with an influential artist, the first being with tenor Plácido Domingo, in 2008.[122]

On November 2013, Brightman donated US$533,000 to those affected by Hurricane Ingrid in the Mexican state of Guerrero. The origin of the funds was all the profit generated by her sold-out show in Mexico City held on 13 November 2013.[123]

On 30 October, Brightman announced through the media that she was honoured to be part of the Advisory Council for the Challenger Center, the non-profit science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education organisation. Sarah also announced that she will be joined on the council by other distinguished individuals including President George H.W. Bush, Mr Norman Augustine, Senator John and Mrs Annie Glenn, all of whom will be lending their diverse talents and support of STEM education to help expand the organization's reach with today's youth.

"Through my partnership with the Challenger Center, I hope to inspire in children the same wonder and excitement for space exploration that I feel myself"—Sarah Brightman commented. Challenger Center and its network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers engage students in hands-on experiences that strengthen knowledge in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields.[124]

On April 2014, Brightman participated as an Orchestra director in Parkinson's UK Symfunny at the Royal Albert Hall 4 June, with the aim of finding a cure for the disease.[125]

Awards[edit]

Brightman has received over 180 Gold and Platinum sales awards in over 40 different countries around the world.[12]

Awards show Host
Country
Nomination(s) Categories Results
1986 Grammy Awards[12] Flag of the United States.svg (Herself)
Best New Classical Artist Nominated
1996 Echo Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Nominated
1996 RSH Gold Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Won
1997 Echo Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Nominated
1998 Echo Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg Time to Say Goodbye
Best Song of the Year Won
1998 Golden Lion Awards[12] Flag of Italy.svg (Herself)
Best Live Performance Won
1998 Goldene Europa Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Won
1999 Czechoslovakian Grammy[12] Flag of Czechoslovakia.svg (Herself)
Singer of the Year Won
1999 Echo Awards[12] Flag of Germany.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Nominated
1999 The Point Trophy[12] Flag of Ireland.svg One Night in Eden Tour
Best Tour of the Year Won
2001 New Age Voice Music Awards[12] Flag of the United States.svg La Luna
Best Vocal Album Won
2004 Arabian Music Awards[12] Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg The War Is Over (with Kazim Al Saher)
Best Collaboration Won
2004 Arabian Music Awards[12] Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg (Herself)
Best Female Artist Won
2005 New York Film Festival[12] Flag of the United States.svg Harem: A Desert Fantasy
Best Music Documentary Won
2005 New York Film Festival[12] Flag of the United States.svg Time to Say Goodbye
Best Music Video Won
2007 The 21st Japan Gold Disc Award[126] Flag of Japan.svg Diva: The Singles Collection
Classical Album of the Year Won
2009 The 23rd Japan Gold Disc Award[126] Flag of Japan.svg A Winter Symphony
Classical Album of the Year Won
2009 Lunas del Auditorio[127] Flag of Mexico.svg Symphony: Live in Vienna
Best Pop Album in Foreign Language Nominated
2010 The 24th Japan Gold Disc Award[126] Flag of Japan.svg Amalfi - Sarah Brightman Love Songs
Classical Album of the Year Won
2010 Lunas del Auditorio[127] Flag of Mexico.svg (Herself)
Best Artist in Foreign Language Nominated
2013 Shorty Awards[128] Flag of the United States.svg (Herself)
Social Media Best Singer Nominated
Year Recipient Award Result
1998 Sarah Brightman Guiness World Records Entry[12] – Germany's Best-Selling Single of All Time (Time to Say Goodbye) Won
1998 Sarah Brightman UNESCO Hand-in-Hand Award[12] Won
2001 Sarah Brightman Golden Key to the City of Chicago[12] Won
2003 Sarah Brightman Media Control Award[12] – Biggest Hit of All Time (Time to Say Goodbye) Won
2004 Sarah Brightman Golden Key to the City of Istanbul[12] Won
2012 Sarah Brightman UNESCO Artist for Peace Award[16] Won

Stage credits[edit]

Musicals[edit]

Operetta[edit]

Plays[edit]

Filmography[edit]

DVD Live Tours[edit]

Selected discography[edit]

Further information: Sarah Brightman discography

Duets[edit]

These Duets were announced but were never made:

  • Florent Pagny – "Just Show Me How To Love You"
  • Biondo – "I Will Be With You (Where The Lost Ones Go)"

Tours[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]