La Luna (Italian and Spanish for "the moon") is the seventh album recorded by English sopranoSarah Brightman in 2000. It was released under license by Nemo Studios to Angel Records. The album combines pieces written by classical and modern composers. The classical pieces are "How Fair This Place" ("Здесь хорошо") by Rachmaninov; "Figlio Perduto", which is based on Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 Op. 92, 2nd movement in A minor "Allegretto"; Solo Con Te (Handel - Dank Sei Dir, Herr); Aria "La Luna" from Opera Rusalka. With La Luna, Brightman combined elements of her traditional operatic background with her newer style of pop music. "Hijo de la Luna" (translating to "Son of the Moon" in Spanish) is a cover originally performed by the Spanish synthpop band Mecano. Written by Ennio Morricone, "La Califfa" is the title track of the 1970 Italian film with the same name. The underlying concept of the album is the moon. It is the 17th top-selling classical album of the 2000s in the US, according to Nielsen SoundScan, and is Brightman's second highest seller in the country after her 1997 release Timeless/Time to Say Goodbye. Aside from the US, the album experienced its strongest sales in Asia, where it received a quintupleplatinum certification in Taiwan, earned Brightman's first Gold award in Japan and currently remains as the best-selling classical album of all-time in China by a non-Asian artist. It was certified Diamond by the Chinese Administration of Radio, Film, and Television.
This original European track listing is now out of print. All pressings now use the USA track listing, along with its versions of "This Love", "Here with Me", and "La Luna". It also replaces "How Fair This Spot" and "She Doesn't See Him" with the lyrically different "How Fair This Place" and "He Doesn't See Me". "La Luna" is performed in full soprano here compared to the more contemporary USA version and "First of May" is removed all together from later releases.
La Luna was changed considerably for its US release. Song additions include "La Lune", "Winter in July", and Brightman's covers of the Procol Harum classic "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and Henry Mancini's "Moon River". Song changes include replacing the European release's versions of "How Fair This Spot" and "She Doesn't See Him" with the lyrically different "How Fair This Place" and "He Doesn't See Me", along with an extended version of "Serenade" and a more contemporary "La Luna". EMI later used La Luna's US version for their SACD5.1 release of the album.
"Scarborough Fair" was released as the album's lead single in January 2000. It became the biggest hit of Brightman's career in Asia and was a chart topper in China and Taiwan, propelling the sales of La Luna throughout the continent. Brightman brought the song renewed popularity in eastern markets through her successful adaptation.