Beginnings and The Stage
Sarah Brightman was born on August 14th, 1960 in Berhamstead, Hertfordshire, England as the first of six children. From an early age Brightman loved to bathe in the limelight taking ballet lessons at the age of three and eventually attending the Arts Educational Boarding School for jazz music and acting. At the age of 16, after numerous rejections from other dance companies, Ms. Brightman became a member of the Pan’s People dance group on the popular TV show “Top of the Pops.” Her first go at singing would be through Hot Gossip, a mixed disco act that achieved popularity with their hit “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.”
In 1981, Ms. Brightman landed the role of Jemima in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats, this would be the start of a long term partnership with Webber. Andrew Lloyd Webber and Ms. Brightman were married in 1984 and she went on to star in his two musicals Song and Dance and Requiem, a role for which she received a Grammy nomination. Later, Brightman would star in the Phantom of the Opera as Christina and a revue of Webbers Musicals. Shortly after releasing two albums “The Songs that Got away” (1988) and “The Trees They Grow So High” (1989) Webber and Brightman divorced and she retired from musical theater.
Brightman’s musical style is considered classical crossover, a genre that popular media has coupled her with even though she dislikes the classification. Classical crossover combines classical artist recordings with popular overtones to create a more mainstream following. Brightman finds inspiration from the likes of David Bowie and Pink Floyd and has been compared to Celine Dion and Cher. She is considered the best selling soprano in the world often mixing operatic vibrato with popular beats in her three octave vocal range.
Brightman found inspiration from the German band Enigma and, in 1991, began work with Enigma producer Frank Peterson, their debut album was Dive released in 1993- this album was classified under the pop genre. Her next album, Fly (1995) combined electronica with rock and classic music and sold over 5 million copies; the track “A Question of Honor” became extremely popular in Europe after playing at the World Boxing Championship. Timeless (1997) found acclaim in the United States as Brightman covered popular songs like “Tu Quieres Volver” from the Gypsy Kings; however, her success is largely centered in and around Europe.
Mainstream Popularity in the Late Nineties and Millennium
Eden (1998) Produced by Frank Peterson, this album combined opera songs and pop songs in a genre now coined as operatic Pop- popular operatic pop artists include Charlotte Church and Andrea Bocelli. The album reached number 65 on the Billboard 200 and was certified gold and number 1 on Billboard’s Classical Crossover Charts.
La Luna (2000) Produced by Frank Peterson, this album, like Eden, contains elements of operatic pop and classical crossover. La Luna peaked on Billboard’s Top 200 at number 17 and Billboard’s Classical Crossover album at number 1.
Harem (2003) Produced by Frank Peterson, this album is wholly unique and unmistakably divergent from her usual style, Harem presents Middle Eastern Influences expertly mixed with dance music and her signature operatic vocals; the late Ofra Haza performed on the CD as well. Harem reached number 1 on the US Billboard Top Classical Crossover Albums and number 29 on Billboard’s Top 200.
In The past two years Brightman has appeared in countless live performances and tribute concerts, most notably being her “All I Ask of You” duet with Josh Grobin during the Concert for Diana in July 2007. Her most recent public appearance was at the 2008 US Olympic games in Beijing where she sang “You and Me” alongside Liu Huan during the opening ceremony. Check out the Sarah Brightman Tickets page for more information on her newest ablum and tour named “Symphony.”