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Interview: Sarah Brightman Reacts to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Closing & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Interview: Sarah Brightman Reacts to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Closing & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star

Sarah Brightman will receive her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame tomorrow, October 6.

On October 6, global recording artist Sarah Brightman will be honored with the 2,736th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame ahead of her first exclusive Las Vegas engagement at The Venetian from October 12-15, 2022.

During the ceremony, Brightman will be joined by Kristin Chenoweth, Emilie Kouatchou and Anthony Van Laast as special guest speakers. The star will be located at 6243 Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Pantages Theatre, in the Live Theatre/Live Performance category.

Brightman, who originated the role of Christine in The Phantom of the Opera, is the world's best-selling Soprano and has performed at such prestigious events including the Concert for Diana, The Kennedy Center Honors and the Barcelona and Beijing Olympic Games.

BroadwayWorld caught up with Brightman to discuss the Hollywood Walk of Fame honor, what to expect from her upcoming Las Vegas concerts, and her thoughts on The Phantom of the Opera closing on Broadway after 35 years.

Congratulations on your star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame. What did it mean to you when you first found out that you were receiving this honor?

Well, I'm mean, extremely honored. And as a British woman, you know, it just was, 'Wow, my God, I'm so excited.' So I feel very humbled by it and I feel very honored and it's been lovely. Really a lovely thing to be recognized.

It's such an iconic part of Hollywood and of pop culture as a whole. Do you have any memories of visiting the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the past?

I do. I've often gone down there and it's before you go and see a show down there or or concert or whatever you are doing. It's something I always like to do. It's absolutely fascinating walking up and learning, seeing and being reminded all the people who've left their legacy in some way. I think it's a really lovely thing to do. It's very exciting for people. People come from all over the world to come and see that and it's a beautiful thing.

Definitely. For your ceremony, Kristin Chenoweth and Emily Kouatchou joining you as guest speakers. Were you able to pick them as your special guests? Are you a fan of theirs?

Yes, I am. Kristin, definitely. And of course, Emilie who is doing Phantom at the moment, it seemed a lovely, lovely time to invite her to come and speak because she's one of the Christines many, many years later. But still sort of taking on the baton from you, if you like, and carrying it through.

For me, I feel very proud of that because it means that there are all these sort of women that are taking on this role, which I suppose originally was written for me and it was written around my voice and then they've got the opportunity to bring their own thing to it. It always gives me a lot of joy, actually.

Interview: Sarah Brightman Reacts to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Closing & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Brightman performing at The Phantom of the Opera's 30th Anniversary

After you get this star, just a week later, you're headed to Las Vegas for some shows. What can audiences expect from your engagement at The Venetian?

Well, having been going through all this horrible, horrible time that we have with the Covid, with Pandemic, and this and that, it's actually been sort of a real relief and it's lovely just to come back to Vegas and to the United States properly and to do these shows for everyone. The show is a little retrospective in that I wanted to give everybody the hits that they want to hear. But because of the time of year it is with Halloween and then if you're going down to Mexico, that area, which we're going on to, it's Day of the Dead. I thought it would be really interesting to do a sort of a version of a mystical and magical show for that particular time of year. So I chose a lot of pieces, I linked all these lyrics together and listened to them and all the pieces and the repertoire that I had and a lot of the songs I chose had to do with beautiful dreams and hope and loneliness sometimes all those sort of deeper spiritual things that are more meaningful and special.

I've got beautiful costumes. I've got a beautiful set, very, very mystical and magical, as I said, lovely lighting. I've got some lovely guests as well. So I think it will make a really different and lovely evening.

Interview: Sarah Brightman Reacts to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Closing & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Promotional Photo for Brightman's Las Vegas Concerts

It sounds like such a great way to come back to performing, especially after, you know, the couple of years that we've had. Since you've had such great success performing and touring after all these years, what will make these shows different for you?

I think it's very difficult to say. Every concert or theme that I use for concerts gives it a different angle, a different feel. What we tend to, with a lot of songs that are very familiar to people, we tend to change the arrangements a little to make them fit the theme so that it adds something particularly special for that evening.

Of course, what's great about these shows in Vegas is that they are in The Venetian, which of course is where The Phantom of the Opera was. So it's always a pleasure to work there because of all the ghosts of the Phantom floating around. What we have actually done, a few of the costumes that people have known that have been attached to certain songs and certain concerts of the past, we've actually brought them out and we've done different things to them. So, subliminally, the audience, when they're listening to songs, that it will all fit, they'll go, 'Oh, I remember that. There's something about that look that I remember, but it's of course been a little being updated.' So we brought in those kind of elements as well.

We've mentioned it a couple times, but The Phantom of the Opera has just announced its closing date on Broadway, the longest running musical of all time. What was your reaction when you first heard this news?

Well, how can I say. I mean, it's sad when these things happen but I don't think Phantom of the Opera is going to go away. It's going to come back. I mean goodness sake, it's gone through so many years and all of these very classic evergreen musicals, from Sondheim to The Sound of Music, South Pacific, all Rodgers and Hammerstein, they all come back and have more runs on Broadway and they do it forever. I think this is just going to be one of those. I think, obviously a lot of musicals are suffering a bit, especially the ones that have been around for a long time beause a lot of people have seen them. I think it will just be a break and then it will come back again.

Interview: Sarah Brightman Reacts to THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA Closing & Hollywood Walk of Fame Star
Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford in The Phantom of the Opera

35 years is such an amazing legacy on Broadway. Do you have any fond memories from when the show had first opened that you'd like to share?

I was a little anxious about it because there was a huge amount of expectation. It wasn't like the time when we opened it in England where nobody knew and you go ahead blindly. The expectation was so huge. But I knew, of course, I knew exactly what I was doing, personally it within it because I'd have been playing it in London and I knew that the piece worked. With those characters in The Phantom of the Opera in the story, you know, the old thing, a thing of "If it ain't on the page, it ain't on the stage." It just works, the story. There's something about all those characters that everybody kind of identifies with. It's the love story and all the ingredients just worked on this particular one.

Do you plan on seeing it one more time before it closes?

I probably will, yes.

Tickets for Brightman's upcoming Las Vegas concerts are available here. Watch a teaser video for Brightman's upcoming Las Vegas concerts here:

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