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] Since 2010, Brightman is Panasonic's global brand ambassador. Together they launched the song "Shall Be Done" at the 2010 Winter Games held in Vancouver, Canada.[16] Brightman is the face of Panasonic's strategic partnership agreement with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre as she stars in their joint campaign, "The World Heritage Special," that was aired on the National Geographic Channel worldwide.[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] In addition, she formed her own production company, Instinct Films, where her first film is in pre-production.[20] Brightman is the world's richest female classical performer with a fortune of £36m (about US$56m).[21] As of 2012, she is training for a space journey to the International Space Station, currently set for 2015.[22]

Family and early life[edit]

Brightman is the oldest of six children of businessman Grenville Geoffrey Brightman (1934[23]–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.[24] 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".[25] 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.[26]

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.[26]

Scarcely a year later, Brightman's recording of Pie Jesu rocketed up the charts, selling 25,000 copies[26] 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."[27]

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.[27] 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.[28] 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.[29]

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.[30]

By 1990, Brightman and Lloyd Webber had separated.[31] After their highly publicized divorce, Brightman played the lead in Lloyd Webber's Aspects in London opposite Michael Praed, before transferring to Broadway.[32] Her subsequent solo album, As I Came of Age, was an eclectic collection of folk-rock and musical theatre songs that Brightman herself chose.[26]

1990s: Solo career[edit]

After her very successful stage career, Brightman decided to embark on a solo career. In 1992, Brightman made an appearance 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 her appearance, Brightman travelled to Germany to work with co-producer Frank Peterson of “Enigma” fame. The two collaborated on the album Dive released in 1993. It was a water-themed pop album that featured "Captain Nemo", a cover of a song by the Swedish electronica band Dive.[33] The album is considered Brightman's first success as a solo recording artist, receiving her first Gold award in Canada.[34]

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”.[35] 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.[36] 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,[37] 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.[38] The same year, Brightman starred A Gala Christmas in Vienna alongside Plácido Domingo, Helmut Lottie and Riccardo Cocciante singing traditional Christmas carols.[39] 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.[40]

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 release of Eden also led to a concert tour of the same name, Brightman’s first world tour and a huge success. Eden reached No. 1 on the US Billboard Classical Crossover chart and No. 65 on the Billboard 200 charts and was certified Gold.

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.[41] The album was the best-seller by an international artist in South Korea and Taiwan.[42][43]

In 2000 Brightman’s PBS La Luna concert, she sang There for Me in a duet with an up-and-coming star, Josh Groban. At the end of 2001, Billboard magazine noted Brightman as the most important classical crossover artist from the United Kingdom.[44]

In 2000, Brightman sold more records than Elton John and the Rolling Stones, becoming America's highest-selling and top touring British artist.[45]

Brightman ventured for the first time into film acting in 2000 when she was part of the cast of the German film "Zeit der Erkenntnis", based on the Rosamunde Pilcher book.[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 US the album peaked at No. 66 on the Billboard 200 chart and promptly 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] until her 2006 release, The Singles Collection went Double-Platinum in the country.

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.[27]

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. A year later of the album's release, Harem was referred as a multi-million seller in EMI's annual music sales report.[50]

The albums Eden, La Luna and Harem were accompanied by live world tours which incorporated the theatricality of her stage origins. In both 2000 and 2001, Brightman was among the top 10 most popular British performers in the US, with concert sales grossing $7.2 million from 34 shows in 2000 and over $5 million from 21 shows in 2001.[51] In 2004 the Harem tour grossed $60 million and sold 800,000 tickets worldwide.[27]

2006–2008: Diva and Symphony[edit]

Brightman released a DVD collection of her music videos on October 3, 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 had shipped over 600,000 copies and achieved a Double-Platinum certification.[52] 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 ahead other successful acts such as Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Eminem. 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 Quadruple Platinum and it's digital single, "Nella Fantasia" was a hit in the country having sold over 2 million units.[53] 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 include 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 from across the UK 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") and debuted her single "Running" at the 2007 IAAF Championships in Osaka, Japan on 25 August.[54] She also participated at the 2007 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, where she performed "The Journey Home" on the Jolly Polly Pirate Ship.[55] She recorded a duet with Anne Murray singing "Snowbird" on Murray's 2007 album Anne Murray Duets: Friends and Legends.[56]

On May 2007, Brightman was invited along with Lesley Garrett to sing at Wembley Stadium in London the anthem "Abide With Me" before the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Manchester United.[57]

At a dinner held at The Mansion House, on 10 September 2008, His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales highlighted the urgent need for action to halt tropical deforestation. The Prince invited Brightman to sing at the event they hosted 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 (used in the soundtrack of the movie The Mission) and further declared a hymn to the rainforests.[58] In 2008, Brightman sang I will be with you [Where the lost ones go] as the ending theme to the Japanese Rise of Darkrai.

On January 29, 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, Japan, and Poland, and a top 20 across Europe.[61][62]

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).[63] 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).

She performed two songs, "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 top-rated show was broadcast live on PBS before a concert audience of 300,000 and millions more at home, as well as to American troops serving around the world on the American Forces Radio and Television Network.[64][65] 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.[66][67][68] Brightman was cast in the film at the last minute after the original actress who was cast for the role was dropped.[68]

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 event appeased the already established supreme popularity and recognition of Brightman in the Asian country. 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.[69][70]

On 4 November 2008, Brightman released her first holiday album, entitled A Winter Symphony, the album debuted at number No. 38 on the Billboard 200 and scored a number six in the Top Holiday Albums, being the first entry for Brightman on this chart.[71] To accompany Symphony and A Winter Symphony, Brightman embarked on a tour in Autumn 2008; "The Symphony World Tour" featured new and groundbreaking technology, with virtual and holographic stage sets that had never been seen before in any touring concert production.[72]

2009–2010: Prominence in Asia and Latin America[edit]

Brightman was appointed as the Shanghai 2010 World Expo Promotion Ambassador in Britain. In anticipation of the Expo, she launched "Shanghai Week in London", which showcases the city's heritage and culture.[73]

In response to persistent calls for a global release of the Symphony: Live in Vienna concert, EMI Music launched worldwide the PBS special which features Brightman's landmark 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.[74]

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.[52][75][76]

Brightman performing in concert of Chichen Itza, Mexico.

Autumn 2009 saw Brightman starting a new concert tour called Sarah Brightman In Concert covering South America with 13 sold-out 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.[77]

The year ended as Symphony: Live in Vienna was listed as the thirteenth best-selling album of the year in Mexico.[78] (In 2008 she also had two top-selling albums in the country: Symphony and A Winter Symphony in the 29 and 83 spots respectively)[79]

Brightman toured Asia in April 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan and in late 2010 with five performances in Tokyo alone, followed by presentations in Kanazawa, Nagoya, Osaka in Japan, Macau in China and Seoul in South Korea. The singer headed to perform in private events in Canada and Ukraine as well as part of the tour.[80][81][82]

Back in the United States she appeared on America's Got Talent on the September 2010 finale episode before that season's winner was revealed. Brightman was the celebrity guest duetting with ten-year-old contestant Jackie Evancho.[83]

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".[84][85] The concert was recorded and later broadcast nationwide by TBS network.[86]

2011 – present: Dreamchaser, UNESCO and Trip to Space[edit]

On October 1 and 2, 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.[87]

In early 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”.[88] While receiving the UNESCO Artist for Peace Award, Brightman announced that she is recording a new studio album set for an early 2013 release and will embark on a World Tour in fall 2013.

Brightman at Russia 2012, on her cosmonaut training in Moscow

In August 2012, it was reported that Brightman had received medical approval from Russia to begin cosmonaut training outside of Moscow, possibly to become one of the only celebrities to pay for travel on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft to visit the International Space Station (ISS), in 2015.[89]

On October 10, 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.[90]

Brightman will be part of a three-person crew travelling to the International Space Station on board the Soyuz TMA-18M spacecraft in 2015.[91] Once on the ISS she will orbit Earth 16 times daily and intends to become the first professional musician to sing from space.[92] The final scheduling of her trip to the space station will be determined by Roscosmos and the ISS partners in the coming months.[93]

In conjunction with her role as a UNESCO Artist for Peace ambassador, Brightman’s life on board the space station—which requires the mindful, shared consumption of resources and a clear and unwavering focus on sustainability—will be a model for how we might better inhabit our planet. 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.[94] 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.[95]

On January 26, 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 and sang "The Phantom of the Opera" in the Marquee Theatre with five phantoms.[96][97] 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.[98]

On April 16, 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.[99] It received acclaim from critics, many considering it Brightman’s strongest work to date,[100] and many pointed out the coherence of the song choices and the quality of Brightman's vocals.[101][102] 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.[103] The album showed a less impressive commercial performance than other Brightman's studio albums, given it´s experimental feature.

During the fall season 2013, Brightman performed the Dreamchaser World Tour in the United States, Canada, Mexico,[104] China, Japan,[105] Korea,[106][107] Taiwan, Brazil.,[108] Chile,[109] Argentina, Russia and Sweden.[110][111][112] The Dreamchaser World Tour was very successful as it entered the list of the top-grossing tours in North America during the respective season.[113][114] On June 6, 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.[115] "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.[116]

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.[117] According to Brightman, her voice sometimes reaches an F6.[118] 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."[32]

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.[119] Her personal influences include '60s and '70s musicians and artists such as David Bowie and Pink Floyd,[27] 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.[120] 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.[121] 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.[122][123] 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.[124] 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.[125]

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 February 8, 2012, Brightman accepted the UNESCO nomination to be an “Artist For Peace” Ambassador.[126] 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 June 27, 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.[127]

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 November 13, 2013.[128]

On October 30, 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.[129]

On April 2014, Brightman participated as an Orchestra director in Parkinson's UK Symfunny at the Royal Albert Hall the 4th of June, with the aim of finding a cure for the disease.[130]

Awards[edit]

Brightman has received over 180 Gold and Platinum sales awards in over 40 different countries around the world including United States, Australia, Japan, UK, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany.[131]

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]