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Brightman, Sarah

Sarah Brightman



Singer




English-born soprano Sarah Brightman enjoys a busy career as a performer of popular, classical, and theater music. She is one of the foremost interpreters of the work of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, to whom she was married for several years. Brightman's versatility well suited Lloyd Webber's music, which blends classical and pop rock styles. "Mr. Lloyd Webber has essentially re-invented operetta for the rock era. His big plummy melodies require operatically trained voices: refined but with enough heft and personality not to seem too thin when piercingly amplified. Ms. Brightman has a sweet, floating soprano with an unusually wide vibrato," wrote Stephen Holden in the New York Times.

Brightman was born on August 14, 1960 in Berkhamp-stead, England, the oldest of six children of Grenville Brightman, a real estate developer, and Paula Hall Brightman, a homemaker. Brightman's mother, who had given up a career as a dancer after her marriage, pointed her oldest child towards a performing career early on. At age three Brightman began ballet lessons and her formal education took place at special schools for children involved with the performing arts. Bright-man considers her childhood a happy one and does not think she was pushed against her will into a life in show business. "From my first dancing lesson at the age of three, I always worked extremely hard. My mother saw there was something in me that needed to perform. I don't think my parents interfered in my personality at all," she told the Daily Telegraph.

At age 12, Brightman had a part in the West End musical I and Albert, a work by composer Charles Strouse about the life of Queen Victoria. As a teenager she performed with the dance troupe Pan's People, and was lead singer in the rock group, Hot Gossip, which had a British top ten disco-tinged hit called "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" in 1978. "My career in a way started in pop. I had hits in England, singles, and in Europe when I was a teenager and it petered out because it was a fashionable thing and punk came in and that was the end of Sarah's career. So, I went back into musical theater," Brightman explained to CNN's Showbiz Today.


Found Her Place in the Theater


A perfectionist and self-described "workaholic," Bright-man continued dance and voice training in order to expand her talent. In 1980 she tried out for a role in the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. It seemed an odd career move for the relatively well-known Bright-man but she was more interested in gaining valuable experience than in retaining celebrity for its own sake. Andrew Lloyd Webber told People, "I remember thinking 'Why is Sarah Brightman auditioning for what is essentially an ensemble production?' We were all terribly intrigued, but we were also delighted." Brightman landed the part of the cat Jemimah. "I was chosen because I could hit that high note at the beginning of the second half. Basically, though, I was a dancer," Brightman told the San Diego Union-Tribune.


The now legendary Cats opened in London in October of 1981. During her 18 months with the show, Bright-man became romantically involved with Lloyd Webber, who is 13 years her senior. Their relationship was complicated by the fact that both were married. In the late 1970s, Brightman had wed band manager Andrew Graham Stewart; Lloyd Webber had been married for several years to the former Sarah Hugill with whom he had two small children. After obtaining divorces, Bright-man and Lloyd Webber married in March of 1984. The secret ceremony took place on the day that Lloyd Webber's musical Starlight Express was scheduled to open in London. That evening Lloyd Webber proudly introduced his new young wife to numerous dignitaries attending the glittering premiere, including Queen Elizabeth.

In 1985, Brightman recorded Lloyd Webber's classical work, Requiem, with famed tenor Placido Domingo. She had a hit single in Britain with Requiem 's "Pie Jesu" soprano solo. "Pie Jesu" remains one of Brightman's favorite Lloyd Webber works and she includes it in her concert appearances. "I love the piece. It's religious, spiritual, but difficult to sing. It's a peaceful moment. I always feel grounded when I do it," she told the Los Angeles Times. Requiem had its public premiere in February of 1985 at New York City's St. Thomas Church with Brightman and Domingo again taking the leads. Andrew Porter of the New Yorker wrote that Lloyd Webber's Requiem "is not exactly a distinguished piece of music, but it is a 'felt' work and an honest one. The effects are obvious, but they are effective Miss Brightman has a natural, steady production and a fine way of placing words on an unforced stream of tone. She sounded better in the church's warm acoustics than she does on the record."


The Phantom of the Opera


Brightman and Lloyd Webber's most celebrated collaboration was The Phantom of the Opera, a musical version of Gaston Leroux's 1911 potboiler novel about a hideously deformed genius who guides a chorus girl, Christine Daae, to opera stardom. The show opened in London in October of 1986, after much pre-opening ballyhoo and advance ticket sales. "In all the pre-publicity the weakest part always seemed to be the casting of Lloyd Webber's new wife Sarah Brightman as the central character. Putting a pretty but rather vacuous seeming minor singer in such a huge role seemed like grand folly: shades of Susan Alexander and Charles Foster Kane. In fact Sarah Brightman's performance is a pleasant surprise. Her voice is still a little thin and bloodless but she has obviously been in the hands of the very best teachers. Her doll-like looks suit the period and she projects a vulnerable confusion perfectly appropriate to her role as innocent victim," wrote Mary Harron in the New Statesman.

For the Record . . .

Born on August 14, 1960 in Berkhampstead, England; daughter of Grenville (a real estate developer) and Paula (maiden name, Hall; a homemaker) Brightman; married Andrew Graham-Stewart (a band manager), c. 1978 (divorced 1983); married Andrew Lloyd Webber (a composer and theatrical producer), 1984 (divorced 1990). Education: Attended the Elmhurst Ballet School, Arts Educational School, and the Royal College of Music.


Lead singer in the rock group Hot Gossip, which had the British top ten hit "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper," 1978; joined the cast of Cats, which opened in London, 1981; recorded Requiem with Placido Domingo, 1985; collaborated with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the London debut of The Phantom of the Opera, 1986; released solo debut album The Trees They Grow So High, 1988; made non-musical theater debut in Trelawny of the Wells, 1992; released Dive, 1993; released Fly, 1995; released Eden, 1998; released La Luna, 2000; released Harem, 2003.


Awards: Grammy Award, Best Contemporary Composition for Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem (with Placido Domingo), 1985; Echo Award (Germany), Best Song for "Time To Say Goodbye," 1998; Golden Lion Award (Germany), Best Live Performance, 1998; Goldene Europa (Germany), Best Female Artist, 1998; UNESCO Hand-in-Hand Award, 1998.

Addresses: Agent Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Website Sarah Brightman Official Website: http://www.sarah-brightman.com.


Lloyd Webber wrote the part of Christine Daae specifically for Brightman and he insisted that she repeat the role in the New York production. American Actor's Equity, a labor union representing American performers, objected, claiming that Brightman was not an "international star" or a "unique talent" and could not be exempt from union rules requiring American Equity members to be cast in American productions. After Lloyd Webber threatened to cancel the Broadway production entirely, Equity caved in and permitted Brightman to perform in exchange for an American performer being given the opportunity to work in England. Echoing the reaction of their British counterparts, American theater critics dismissed The Phantom of the Opera as overly hyped spectacle but most had to admit to finding the lavish production entertaining. Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote that "it may be possible to have a terrible time at The Phantom of the Opera, but you'll have to work at it. Only a terminal prig would let the avalanche of pre-opening publicity poison his enjoyment of this show, which usually wants nothing more than to shower the audience with fantasy and fun the icily attractive Ms. Brightman possesses a lush soprano by Broadway standards (at least as amplified)."

The Equity brouhaha contributed to the sense that Brightman's career was dependent on her personal relationship with Lloyd Webber. But she dismissed this notion, stating, "I always made my mark as Sarah Brightman I am not saying I am the greatest thing since the world began but I obviously do my work fairly well to have got as far as I have. I had, you know, as strong a career as I could have had by the age of twenty before I met Lloyd Webber," she told the Sunday Telegraph. She also points out that the casting decision in regard to the role of Christine was a collective one with Phantom's director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh having had a say in the matter.

Despite their professional success together, Brightman and Lloyd Webber's marriage foundered and the couple divorced in 1990. Differences in regard to lifestyle are said to have been the primary reason behind the split. Brightman's career-mindedness and casual tastes conflicted with Lloyd Webber's desire for an elegant and acquisitive existence centered around his large estate outside London, Sydmonton, which is decorated with an impressive collection of PreRaphaelite art. "I was never the lady of the manor type. At the end of the day I was always Sarah. I fell in love with a man who was in the process of acquiring all that and things just went crazy," Brightman told the Evening Standard, adding that "I'm not that interested in material possessions. I'd rather enjoy myself and feel contented and fulfilled." In the divorce settlement, Bright-man was awarded several million pounds. With her career flourishing, Brightman says she has never spent a penny of the settlement money and has even offered to return it to Lloyd Webber. "He wouldn't take it," Brightman told the Daily Telegraph.


Relationship with Lloyd Webber Continued


However, divorce did not end Brightman and Lloyd Webber's professional association. "We're great friends. We work together well, and we enjoy working together. We find that for people working with music it's about creating. It's like a responsibility for me to take a creation and put it forth to people. The relationship, what's happened in the past, is not important enough to spoil the creativity," Brightman explained to the Los Angeles Times.

In October of 1996, at a celebration for the tenth anniversary of the London production of The Phantom of the Opera at Her Majesty's Theater, Lloyd Webber played piano as Brightman sang one of the show's big numbers "Music of the Night." Later in the evening, Lloyd Webber told the New York Times that "this has been a very difficult night for me in a way. It's a piece I absolutely love and I found myself playing for the person that inspired it. I didn't think we would ever be on the same stage again."


While their divorce was pending in the autumn of 1990, Lloyd Webber and director Trevor Nunn, asked Bright-man, who had just completed a concert tour, to take over the lead in the Broadway production of Lloyd Webber's Aspects of Love. The part called for Bright-man to play Rose, a worldly French actress involved in an affair with a younger man. The character ages 17 years during the course of the story. When the show was in its development stages, Brightman had been considered too young to play Rose and another performer, Ann Crumb, originated the part in both London and New York. However, the travails of life had added some maturity to Brightman's jejune looks and mannerisms. "Through doing the concerts and traveling around, I've had more experience as a person to deal with a complex role like this I suppose I play myself a lot of the time," Brightman told Newsday. After the close of the Broadway production of Aspects of Love, Brightman took over the part of Rose in the long-running London production.


During her time with Aspects of Love in London, Brightman's father committed suicide. Yet the tragedy did not prevent Brightman from going through with that evening's performance. "Sarah insisted on going on tonight. We all react to personal tragedies in different ways. Sarah is a total professional, very dedicated to her job," theater company manager Jools Gardner told the Daily Mail. Her father suffered from depression and his death did not come as a total surprise. "His suicide was something I may have been waiting for for a long time," Brightman told the Daily Telegraph in 1997.


In 1992, Brightman made her debut in the non-musical theater with a London revival of Arthur Wing Pinero's turn of the century play Trelawny of the Wells. Her co-stars included Michael Hordern and Helena Bonham-Carter. Producer Duncan Weldon offered the part to Brightman after seeing her in Aspects of Love. "It had been a secret dream of mine to do a straight play and I told him [Weldon] so. He was already thinking of Trelawny and so the opportunity was there," Brightman explained to the Evening Standard. Bright-man has studied acting for years and would like some day to take on classic parts in plays by Ibsen, Chekhov, and Shaw.


Since 1993, Brightman has been romantically involved with Frank Peterson, a record producer based in Hamburg, Germany. Spending time in Germany made the ever-ambitious Brightman realize the increasing importance of the continental European market in regard to international record sales. To establish herself in Germany, she sang the sweepingly emotional song "Time to Say Goodbye" on German television in November of 1996 before a prizefight involving the popular boxer Henry Maske. A duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, the song quickly went to top of the German charts.


Left the Stage for a Solo Career


Brightman released at least one album a year for the next several years. In 1997, Timeless was released; in 1998, Eden ; in 2000, La Luna ; Encore in 2001; and Harem in 2003. She hasn't performed in the theater since the early 1990s, and doesn't seem eager to return to the Broadway stage any time soon. Speaking to Tim Pulice for a Borders Books interview, Brightman revealed why she is happier performing as a solo singer rather than on a stage: "I'm so creative in what I do, I'm very hands-on for my concerts and my albums. I don't think I really want to go back [to the theater]for the moment anywaysas an employed person in a show."


Brightman's 2003 release Harem earned her even more global fame and recognition. Her vocals and the lush orchestration provided by the Prague Symphony Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra (among others) were woven together to create an album of haunting, Middle-East inspired music. The album also featured Iraqi-born pop singer Kazem alSahir. Pulice stated: "Brightman ventures into new sonic territory" with Harem. Proclaiming the music "opulent" and Brightman's voice "exquisite," he had nothing but praise for her far-reaching album.


Brightman's genre-hopping, global approach to music stems from Brightman's childhood in Europe, where she and her family traveled frequently around the continent. "Music has been such a force in my life, and I've really enjoyed all sides of it, but I've never wanted to categorize myself," Brightman confessed to Billboard reporter Doug Reece.

Selected discography

The Trees They Grow So High: British Folksong Arrangements, EMI, 1988.

Songs That Got Away, Polygram, 1989.

As I Came of Age, Polydor, 1990.

Sarah Brightman Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Polydor, 1992.

Dive, A&M, 1993.

Fly, East-West, 1995.

Surrender, Really, 1996.

Eden, Angel, 1998.

La Luna, Angel, 2000.

Harem, EMI, 2003.



Sources

Periodicals


Billboard, April 4, 1998, p. 72.

Chicago Tribune, May 21, 1995, p. C20.

Daily Mail (London, England), February 26, 1992, p. 1.

Daily Telegraph (London, England), May 9, 1997, p. 19.

Dallas Morning News, May 3, 1997, p. 41A.

Evening Standard (London, England), November 13, 1992, pp. 26-27.

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1995, p. 3.

Opera News, June 1988, p. 32; December 24, 1988, p. 45.

New Republic, March 14, 1988, p. 34.

Newsday (Long Island, NY), December 26, 1990, p. 74.

New Statesman, October 17, 1986, p. 26.

New York, February 8, 1988, p. 89.

New Yorker, March 11, 1985, p. 112; February 8, 1988, pp. 97-98.

New York Times, March 3, 1986, pp. 115-116; January 27, 1988, p. 19; July 23, 1990, pp. 55, 58.

Press Association Newsfile, October 7, 1994, Home News section.

Reuters News Wire, December 11, 2003.

San Diego Union-Tribune, July 30, 1989, p. E1.

Scotsman (Edinburgh, Scotland), May 24, 1996, p. 22.

Sunday Telegraph (London, England), January 5, 1992, p. 103.

Time, February 8, 1988, p. 83.


Online


"Musical Oasis: Sarah Brightman Discusses Her Newest Work," Borders, http://www.bordersstores.com/features/feature.jsp?file=/sarahbrightman (December 17, 2003).

"Sarah Brightman," All Music Guide, http://www.allmusic.com (December 17, 2003).

Sarah Brightman Official Website, http://www.sarah-brightman.com (December 17, 2003).


Mary Kalfatovic

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Brightman, Sarah

Sarah Brightman

Singer, actress

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

English-born soprano Sarah Brightman enjoys a busy career as a performer of popular, classical, and theater music. She is one of the foremost interpreters of the work of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, to whom she was married for several years. Brightmans versatility well suited Lloyd Webbers music, which blends classical and pop rock styles. Mr. Lloyd Webber has essentially re-invented operetta for the rock era. His big plummy melodies require operatically trained voices: refined but with enough heft and personality not to seem too thin when piercingly amplified. Ms. Brightman has a sweet, floating soprano with an unusually wide vibrato, wrote Stephen Holden in the New York Times.

Brightman was born in 1960 in Berkhampstead, England, the oldest of six children of Grenville Brightman, a real estate developer, and Paula Hall Brightman, a homemaker. Brightmans mother, who had given up a career as a dancer after her marriage, pointed her oldest child towards a performing career early on. At age three Brightman began ballet lessons and her formal education took place at special schools for children involved with the performing arts. Brightman considers her childhood a happy one and does not think she was pushed against her will into a life in show business. From my first dancing lesson at the age of three, I always worked extremely hard. My mother saw there was something in me that needed to perform. I dont think my parents interfered in my personality at all, she told the Daily Telegraph.

At age 12, Brightman had a part in the West End musical I and Albert, a work by composer Charles Strouse about the life of Queen Victoria. As a teenager she performed with the dance troupe Pans People, and was lead singer in the rock group, Hot Gossip, which had a British top ten disco-tinged hit called I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper in 1978. My career in away started in pop. I had hits in England, singles, and in Europe when I was a teenager and it petered out because it was a fashionable thing and punk came in and that was the end of Sarahs career. So, I went back into musical theater, Brightman explained to Cable News Networks Showbiz Today.

A perfectionist and self-described workaholic, Bright-man continued dance and voice training in order to expand her talent. In 1980 she tried out for a role in the new Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats. It seemed an odd career move for the relatively well-known Bright-man but she was more interested in gaining valuable experience than in retaining celebrity for its own sake. Andrew Lloyd Webber told People I remember thinking Why is Sarah Brightman auditioning for what is essentially an ensemble production? We were all terribly

For the Record

Born August 14, 1960 in Berkhampstead, England; the daughter of Grenville Brightman (a real estate developer) and Paula (maiden name, Hall; a homemaker) Brightman; Married Andrew Graham-Stewart (a band manager), c. 1978 (divorced 1983); Andrew Lloyd Webber (a composer and theatrical producer), 1984 (divorced 1990). Education: Attended the Elmhurst Ballet School, Arts Educational School, and the Royal College of Music.

Lead singer in the rock group Hot Gossip, which had the British Top Ten hit I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper, 1978; joined the cast of Cats, which opened in London, 1981; recorded Requiem with Placido Domingo, 1985; collaborated with Lloyd Webber on The Phantom of the Opera, which opened in London in October 1986; made non-musical theater debut in Trelawny of the Wells, 1992.

Awards: Grammy award nomination for best new classical performer, 1985.

Addresses: Home London, England, and Hamburg, Germany. Agent Creative Artists Agency, 9830 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90212.

intrigued, but we werealso delighted. Brightman landed the part of the cat Jemimah. I was chosen because I could hit that high note at the beginning of the second half. Basically, though, I was a dancer, Brightman told the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The now legendary Cats opened in London in 1981. During her 18 months with the show, Brightman became romantically involved with Lloyd Webber, who is 13 years her senior. Their relationship was complicated by the fact that both were married. In the late 1970s, Brightman had wed band manager Andrew Graham Stewart; Lloyd Webber had been married for several years to the former Sarah Hugill with whom he had two small children. After obtaining divorces, Brightman and Lloyd Webber married in March 1984. The secret ceremony took place on the day that Lloyd Webbers musical Starlight Express was scheduled to open in London. That evening Lloyd Webber proudly introduced his new young wife to numerous dignitaries attending the glittering premiere, including Queen Elizabeth.

In 1985, Brightman recorded Lloyd Webbers classical work, Requiem, with famed tenor Placido Domingo. She had a hit single in Britain with Requiems Pie Jesu soprano solo. Pie Jesu remains one of Brightmans favorite Lloyd Webber works and she includes it in her concert appearances. I love the piece. Its religious, spiritual, but difficult to sing. Its a peaceful moment. I always feel grounded when I do it, she told the Los Angeles Times. Requiem had its public premiere in February 1985 at New York Citys St. Thomas Church with Brightman and Domingo again taking the leads. Andrew Porter of the New Yorker wrote that Lloyd Webbers Requiem is not exactly a distinguished piece of music, but it is a felt work and an honest one. The effects are obvious, but they are effective Miss Brightman has a natural, steady production and a fine way of placing words on an unforced stream of tone. She sounded better in the churchs warm acoustics than she does on the record.

So far, Brightman and Lloyd Webbers most celebrated collaboration has been The Phantom of the Opera, a musical version of Gaston Lerouxs 1911 potboiler novel about a hideously deformed genius who guides a chorus girl, Christine Daae, to opera stardom. The show opened in London in October 1986, after much pre-opening ballyhoo and advance ticket sales. In all the pre-publicity the weakest part always seemed to be the casting of Lloyd Webbers new wife Sarah Brightman as the central character. Putting a pretty but rather vacuous seeming minor singer in such a huge role seemed like grand folly: shades of Susan Alexander and Charles Foster Kane. In fact Sarah Brightmans performance is a pleasant surprise. Her voice is still a little thin and bloodless but she has obviously been in the hands of the very best teachers. Her doll-like looks suit the period and she projects a vulnerable confusion perfectly appropriate to her role as innocent victim, wrote Mary Harron in the New Statesman.

Lloyd Webber wrote the part of Christine Daae specifically for Brightman and he insisted that she repeat the role in the New York production. American Actors Equity, a labor union representing American performers, objected, claiming that Brightman was not an international star or a unique talent and could not be exempt from union rules requiring American Equity members to be cast in American productions. After Lloyd Webber threatened to cancel the Broadway production entirely, Equity caved in and permitted Bright-man to perform in exchange for an American performer being given the opportunity to work in England. Echoing the reaction of their British counterparts, American theater critics dismissed The Phantom of the Opera as overly hyped spectacle but most had to admit to finding the lavish production entertaining. Frank Rich of the New York Times wrote that it may be possible to have a terrible time at The Phantom of the Opera, but youll have to work at it. Only a terminal prig would let the avalanche of pre-opening publicity poison his enjoyment of this show, which usually wants nothing more than to shower the audience with fantasy and fun the icily attractive Ms. Brightman possesses a lush soprano by Broadway standards (at least as amplified).

The Equity brouhaha contributed to the sense that Brightmans career was dependent on her personal relationship with Lloyd Webber. But she dismissed this notion, stating, I always made my mark as Sarah Brightman I am not saying I am the greatest thing since the world began but I obviously do my work fairly well to have got as far as I have. I had, you know, as strong a career as I could have had by the age of twenty before I met Lloyd Webber, she told the Sunday Telegraph. She also points out that the casting decision in regard to the role of Christine was a collective one with Phantoms director Hal Prince and producer Cameron Mackintosh having had a say in matter

Despite their professional success together, Brightman and Lloyd Webbers marriage foundered and the couple divorced in 1990. Differences in regard to lifestyle are said to have been the primary reason behind the split. Brightmans career-mindedness and casual tastes conflicted with Lloyd Webbers desire for an elegant and acquisitive existence centered around his large estate outside London, Sydmonton, which is decorated with an impressive collection of Pre-Raphaelite art. I was never the lady of the manor type. At the end of the day I was always Sarah. I fell in love with a man who was in the process of acquiring all that and things just went crazy, Brightman told the Evening Standard, adding that Im not that interested in material possessions. Id rather enjoy myself and feel contented and fulfilled. In the divorce settlement, Brightman was awarded several million pounds. With her career flourishing, Brightman says she has never spent a penny of the settlement money and has even offered to return it to Lloyd Webber. He wouldnt take it, Brightman told the Daily Telegraph.

However, divorce did not end Brightman and Lloyd Webbers professional association. Were great friends. We work together well, and we enjoy working together. We find that for people working with music its about creating. Its like a responsibility for me to take a creation and put it forth to people. The relationship, whats happened in the past, is not important enough to spoil the creativity, Brightman explained to the Los Angeles Times.

In October 1996, at a celebration for the tenth anniversary of the London production of Phantom of the Opera at Her Majestys Theater, Lloyd Webber played piano as Brightman sang one of the shows big numbers Music of the Night. Later in the evening, Lloyd Webber told the New York Times that this has been a very difficult night for me in a way. Its a piece I absolutely love and I found myself playing for the person that inspired it. I didnt think I would ever be on the same stage again.

While their divorce was pending in the autumn of 1990, Lloyd Webber and director Trevor Nunn, asked Bright-man, who had just completed a concert tour, to take over the lead in the Broadway production of Lloyd Webbers Aspects of Love. The part called for Bright-man to play Rose, a worldly French actress involved in an affair with a younger man. The character ages 17 years during the course of the story. When the show was in its development stages, Brightman had been considered too young to play Rose and another performer, Ann Crumb, originated the part in both London and New York. However, the travails of life had added some maturity to Brightmans jejune looks and mannerisms. Through doing the concerts and traveling around, Ive had more experience as a person to deal with a complex role like this I suppose I play myself a lot of the time, Brightman told Newsday. After the close of the Broadway production of Aspects of Love, Brightman took over the part of Rose in the long-running London production.

During her time with Aspects of Love in London, Bright-mans father committed suicide. Yet the tragedy did not prevent Brightman from going through with that evenings performance. Sarah insisted on going on tonight. We all react to personal tragedies in different ways. Sarah is a total professional, very dedicated to her job, theater company manager Jools Gardner told the Daily Mail. Her father suffered from depression and his death did not come as a total surprise. His suicide was something I may have been waiting for for a long time, Brightman told the Daily Telegraph in 1997.

In 1992, Brightman made her debut in the non-musical theater with a London revival of Arthur Wing Pineros turn of the century play Trelawny of the Wells. Her co-stars included Michael Hordern and Helena Bonham-Carter. Producer Duncan Weldon offered the part to Brightman after seeing her in Aspects of Love. It had been a secret dream of mine to do a straight play and I told him [Weldon] so. He was already thinking of Trelawny and so the opportunity was there, Brightman explained to the Evening Standard. Brightman has studied acting for years and would like some day to take on classic parts in plays by Ibsen, Chekhov, and Shaw.

Spending time in Germany made the ever-ambitious Brightman realize the increasing importance of the continental European market in regard to international record sales. To establish herself in Germany, she sang the sweepingly emotional song Time to Say Goodbye on German television in November 1996 before a prizefight involving the popular boxer Henry Maske. A duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, the song quickly went to top of the German charts.

Brightmans foreseeable future seems to involve more work and honing of her skills. She is not interested in marrying again or starting a family, and doesnt mind leading the peripatetic existence required by an international concert career. In her rare leisure moments, she enjoys driving, reading, and swimming. Brightman told the Daily Telegraph Work suits my personality. It makes me feel strong, free, secure, in the way that other women might find security in marriage or children or social life.

Selected discography

Early One Morning: Folksongs, 1986.

The Trees They Grow So High: British Folksong Arrangements, 1988.

Songs That Got Away, 1989.

As I Came of Age, 1990.

Sarah Brightman Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, 1992.

Dive, 1993.

Fly, 1995.

Surrender, 1996.

Sources

Cable News Network (CNN), Showbiz Today, transcript no. 287, May 3, 1993.

Chicago Tribune, May 21, 1995.

Daily Mail (London), February 26, 1992.

Daily Telegraph (London), May 9, 1997.

Dallas Morning News, May 3, 1997.

Evening Standard, (London), November 13, 1992.

Los Angeles Times, May 12, 1995.

Opera News, June 1988; December 24, 1988.

New Republic, March 14, 1988.

Newsday (Long Island), December 26, 1990.

New Statesman, October 17, 1986.

New York, February 8, 1988.

New Yorker, March 11, 1985; February 8, 1988.

New York Times, January 27, 1988.

People, March 3, 1986; July 23, 1990.

Press Association Newsfile, October 7, 1994.

San Diego Union-Tribune, July 30, 1989.

Scotsman (Edinburgh), May 24, 1996.

Sunday Telegraph (London), January 5, 1992.

Time, February 8, 1988.

Mary Kalfatovic

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
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"Brightman, Sarah." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Brightman, Sarah." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/brightman-sarah-0

"Brightman, Sarah." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/brightman-sarah-0

Brightman, Sarah 1960-

Brightman, Sarah 1960-

PERSONAL

Born August 14, 1960, in Berkhamsted, Hertforshire (near London), England; daughter of Grenville (a real estate developer) and Paula (a dancer; maiden name, Hall) Brightman; married Andrew Graham Stewart (a band manager), 1978 (divorced, September, 1983); married Andrew Lloyd Webber (a composer), March 22, 1984 (divorced, June, 1990). Education: Studied at Elmhurst Ballet School and Arts Education School, London. Avocational Interests: Driving, swimming, writing.

Career:

Actress, singer, and producer. Performer with the rock music group Hot Gossip, 1970s; performed at Metropolitan Opera, New York City, Waldbuehne, Berlin, and Tchaikovsky Hall, Moscow; toured Japan with Placido Domingo; toured U.S. cities, 1999, 2001.

Awards, Honors:

Grammy Award nomination, best new classical artist, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, 1985, for Requiem; Drama Desk Award nomination, best actress in a musical, 1988, for The Phantom of the Opera; German Echo Award nominations, best female artist, 1996, 1997, 1999; RSH Gold Award, best female artist, 1996; Special Golden Lion Award (with others), Royal Television Society, 1997; Echo Award, best song, 1998, for "Time to Say Goodbye "; German Golden Lion Award, best live performance, 1998; Goldene Europa Award, best female artist, 1998; Taiwanese Grammy Award, best selling record, 1998, for Timeless; Hand in Hand Award, UNESCO, 1998; Czech Grammy Award, singer of the year, 1999; New Age Voice Music Award, best vocal album, 2001; Arabian Music Award (with Kazim Al Saher), best collaboration, 2004, for "The War Is Over"; Arabian Music Award, best female artist, 2004; New York Film Festival Prize, music documentary category, 2005, for Harem—A Desert Fantasy; numerous platinum and gold records from all around the world.

CREDITS

Stage Appearances:

(Stage debut) Victoria, I and Albert, West End production, 1973.

Jemimah, Cats (musical), New London Theatre, London, 1981.

Title role, Nightingale (musical), Buxton Festival Theatre, Buxton, England, then Lyric Theatre Hammersmith, London, 1982.

Pirates of Penzance (operetta), 1983.

Emma, Song and Dance (musical), 1984.

Valencienna, The Merry Widow, New Sadler's Wells Theatre, London, 1985.

Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Requiem," New York City and London, 1985.

Christine Daae, The Phantom of the Opera (musical), Her Majesty's Theatre, London, 1986, then (Broadway debut) Majestic Theatre, 1988-89.

Special guest, Waitin' in the Wings: The Night the Understudies Take Center Stage, Triplex Theatre, New York City, 1988.

The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (concert), Shubert Theatre, New York City, 1989.

Rose Vibert, Aspects of Love (musical), Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1990-91, then Prince Edward Theatre, London.

Rose, Trelawney of the "Wells," Comedy Theatre, London, 1992.

Appeared in the title role of Eva Peron, Evita (musical); and as Miranda Frayle, Relative Values, Chichester Festival Theatre, Chichester, England, then Savoy Theatre, London; appeared in The Innocents and Dangerous Obsession, both repertory and West End productions; also appeared in many live concert performances.

Television Appearances; Specials:

Emma, Song and Dance, BBC, 1983.

America's Tribute to Bob Hope (also known as America at Its Finest: A Tribute to the Bob Hope Cultural Center), NBC, 1988.

The 42nd Annual Tony Awards, CBS, 1988.

The Royal Variety Performance 1987, Arts and Entertainment, 1989.

Grammy Living Legends, CBS, 1989.

A Broadway Christmas, Showtime, 1990.

Granpa, Showtime, 1991.

The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (also known as The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Starring Sarah Brightman and Anthony Warlow), 1995.

A Gala Christmas in Vienna, 1997.

Andrea Bocelli: Romanza in Concert, 1997.

"Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration " (also known as "Sarah Brightman in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall"), Great Performances, PBS, 1998.

Sarah Brightman in Concert (also known as In Concert: Sarah Brightman), 1998.

Andrew Lloyd Webber 50th Birthday Celebration, 1999.

Sarah Brightman: One Night in Eden, c. 1999.

Sarah Brightman: La Luna in Concert, 2000.

Requiem, 2000.

Christmas at the Vatican (also known as A Musical Christmas from the Vatican), 2001.

The Best of Sarah Brightman, PBS, 2002.

Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration of the Performing Arts, CBS, 2006.

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (also known as 81st Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade), 2007.

Concert for Diana, NBC, 2007.

"Vivere: Andrea Bocelli Live in Tuscany," Great Performances, PBS, 2007.

Bambi Verleihung, ARD, 2007.

Television Appearances; Episodic:

Musikladen, 1979.

Aspel & Company, ITV, 1987.

"Sarah Brightman," This Is Your Life, NBC, 1989.

"The Andrew Lloyd Webber Story," A&E Stage, Arts and Entertainment, 1992.

Guest, Que apostamos?, 1998.

Herself, "Zeit der Erkenntnis," Rosamunde Pilcher, 2000.

O Clone (also known as The Clone), c. 2001.

So Graham Norton, Channel 4, 2001.

HermanSIC, 2003.

Bingolotto, 2003.

The Sharon Osbourne Show (also known as Sharon), syndicated, 2003.

Richard & Judy, Channel 4, 2004.

"Onko Suomella asiaa?," 4Pop, 2004.

Verstehen Sie Spass?, 2006.

Memories de la tele, 2007.

Pasion, 2007.

Contestant, Just the Two of Us, BBC, 2007.

The Heaven and Earth Show (also known as Heaven and Earth with Gloria Hunniford), BBC, 2007.

"Monaco," Tenue de soiree, 2007.

Television Appearances; Other:

Dancer, Pan's People (series), 1976.

Requiem Mass (also known as Lloyd-Webber's "Requiem Mass"), 1985.

Television Work; Miniseries:

Song performer, Jesus (also known as La Bibbia: Jesus and Die Bibel—Jesus), CBS, 1999.

Television Executive Producer; Specials:

"Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration " (also known as "Sarah Brightman in Concert at the Royal Albert Hall"), Great Performances, PBS, 1998.

Sarah Brightman: La Luna in Concert (special), 2000.

Film Appearances:

Rose Vibert, Aspects of Love, 2005.

Film Work; Song Performer:

"Time to Say Goodbye (Con te partiro)," Ronin, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1998.

"Deliver Me," Brokedown Palace, Twentieth Century-Fox, 1999.

"Con te partiro," Blades of Glory, Paramount, 2007.

RECORDINGS

Albums:

Nightingale (cast album), 1982.

Song and Dance, 1984.

(With Placido Domingo) Requiem, Angel, 1985.

Early One Morning: Folksongs, 1986.

The Phantom of the Opera, 1987.

The Trees They Grow So High: British Folksong Arrangements, EMI, 1988.

The Songs that Got Away, Polydor, 1989.

As I Came of Age, Polydor, 1990.

Sarah Brightman Sings the Songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Polydor, 1992.

Dive, A&M, 1993.

Fly, East-West, 1995.

Surrender, Really Records, 1996.

(With the London Symphony Orchestra) Timeless, 1997.

Time to Say Goodbye, Angel Records, 1997.

Eden, EMI Angel, 1999.

The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Decca, 1999.

La Luna, Angel Records, 2000.

Encore, Decca, 2001.

Classics: The Best of Sarah Brightman, EMI, 2002.

Harem—A Desert Fantasy, EMI, 2003.

Harem World Tour: Live from Las Vegas, Angel Records, 2004.

Musical and More, Universal International, 2005.

Love Changes Everything: The Andrew Lloyd Webber Collection, Volume 2, 2005.

Diva: The Singles Collection, 2006.

Best of Sarah Brightman, Toshiba EMI, 2006.

Symphony, 2008.

Also performed as Carrie Pipperidge for the recording of Carousel, MCA; appeared on cast album of Cats; also recorded several albums and singles with the popular European musical group Hot Gossip, including the single "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper," 1978; other singles include "Anything but Lonely," 1989; "Love Changes Everything," Polygram, 1990; "Time to Say Goodbye," Capitol, 1997; "Eden," Polygram International, 2000; "Harem," Angel Records, 2003; "What You Never Know," EMI, 2003; and "Be with You," Toshiba EMI, 2007.

Video Appearances:

Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Premiere Collection Encore, 1992.

Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Royal Albert Hall Celebration, PolyGram Video, 1998.

Andrea Bocelli: A Night in Tuscany, 1998.

Sarah Brightman in Concert, Columbia/TriStar Video, 1998.

(And coproducer) Sarah Brightman: One Night in Eden—Live in Concert (also known as One Night in Eden: Sarah Brightman in Concert), 1998.

(And coproducer) Sarah Brightman: La Luna—Live in Concert, Angel Records, 2001.

Sarah Brightman in Concert, Columbia/TriStar Video, 2001.

(And executive producer) Sarah Brightman: Harem—A Desert Fantasy, EMI Distribution, 2004.

(And coproducer) Sarah Brightman: The Harem World Tour—Live from Las Vegas, Angel Records, 2004.

(And executive producer) Sarah Brightman: Diva (also known as Diva: The Singles Collection), Angel Records, 2006.

Also appeared in the music video "Him."

OTHER SOURCES

Books:

Contemporary Musicians, Volume 45, Gale, 2004.

Periodicals:

Billboard, April 4, 1998, p. 7.

Daily Mail, October 7, 2006, p. 19.

Parade, July 27, 2003, p. 18.

Sly, January, 2006, pp. 54-63.

Electronic:

Sarah Brightman Official Site,http://www.sarahbrightman.com, January 16, 2008.

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"Brightman, Sarah 1960-." Contemporary Theatre, Film and Television. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Brightman, Sarah

SARAH BRIGHTMAN

Born: Berkhampstead, England, 14 August 1960

Genre: Vocal

Best-selling album since 1990: Timeless (1997)

Hit songs since 1990: "Time to Say Goodbye," "Deliver Me"


Often linked with her work in musical theater, Sarah Brightman for most of her career has been a determined recording artist in a variety of musical styles whose delicate soprano has touched millions of listeners.

Brightman was born and raised in Berkhampstead, England, where she began voice lessons and ballet training at an early age. She debuted theatrically in 1973 on London's West End at the Piccadilly Theatre in Charles Strouse's regally themed musical, I and Albert, and performed as a dancer in the British television series Pan's People in 1976. Two years later, she danced and sang as a member of the British pop group Hot Gossip and scored a Top 10 single in the United Kingdom with the disco hit, "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper." In 1981 she won the role of Jemina in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats and performed the long-running musical in its initial London resurrection.

Brightman and Lloyd Webber were married on March 22, 1984, the second marriage for both. Brightman's first marriage was in 1978 to rock manager Andrew Graham Stewart, from whom she was divorced 1983. Her nuptial to Lloyd Webber, who was already a superstar composer, received major media scrutiny and was a double-edged sword for the young soprano. Lloyd Webber placed her in several of his projects and Brightman gained international notoriety for her singing. However, doggedly stalking her career was the suggestion that she merely married well. In 1985 Lloyd Webber cast her alongside renowned tenor Plácido Domingo in his politically controversial Requiem and she scored a Grammy Award nomination for Best New Classical Artist. Later, Brightman starred in his London and Broadway productions of Phantom of the Opera, which opened in 1988. She followed that by headlining the world concert tour, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber: A Concert Spectacular. She also starred on Broadway in another Lloyd Webber show, Aspects of Love, in 1991, although they were no longer a couple. Their marriage had amicably dissolved in 1990 and some of Brightman's harsher critics felt that her career might dissolve along with it. They were mistaken.

Recordings of her theatrical roles, previous solo albums, and concert tours had already made millions of fans of Brightman's silky, mesmerizing voice. In 1992 her duet with opera singer Jose Carreras, "Amigos Para Siempre," the anthem of the 1992 Olympics, landed high on the charts in England. The next year she released Dive (1993), a foray into bouncy pop and the first record produced by a new romantic companion, Frank Peterson, who also wrote many of the album's songs. They followed with Fly (1995), whose re-release in 1996 added her blockbuster duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, "Time to Say Goodbye." Except for the epic duet, the other songs on Fly had more of a 1980s electronic pop fusion sound. Both albums did well; however, the release of "Time to Say Goodbye" as a single eclipsed them. The song sold more then 10 million copies worldwide and is the biggest-selling single ever in Germany. Consequently, Brightman and Peterson decided to include it on their next album, Timeless (1997). This popular recording is titled Time to Say Goodbye (1997) for the United States release. Along with a strong return to operatic work, including Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro," the album also contains several pop efforts and firmly established Brightman as a versatile crossover artist.

Brightman's international presence results in varying titles and song listings on her albums depending on the locale of the release. She also sings in several languages, most notably Spanish, Italian, Hebrew, and her native English. Brightman's concerts are known to feature mood-creating theatricality that enthralls her fans, but is sometimes loathed by serious classical lovers. In 2001 Brightman released a compilation album, Classics, containing songs off her previous three releases in addition to seven new songs that mix pop, neo-classical, and new age styles. Her follow-up, Encore (2002), is another compilation of previous recordings, including many of Lloyd Webber's songs from her days in musical theater.

Brightman's fearless crossovers from one style to the next have often put her at the mercy of the critics. Yet, in every invention of herself, she has attracted legions of fans and established herself as one of the most prominent sopranos in the world.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

The Trees They Grow So High (EMI, 1986); The Songs That Got Away (Polygram, 1989); As I Came of Age (Polygram, 1990); The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom, 1992); Dive (A&M, 1993); Surrender (Polygram, 1995); Fly (Wea International, 1996); Timeless (Angel Classics, 1997); Eden (EMI International, 1998); La Luna-La Luna (Wea, 2000); Classics (Angel Classics, 2001); Encore (Universal, 2002).

donald lowe

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"Brightman, Sarah." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Brightman, Sarah." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. . Retrieved August 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/brightman-sarah