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Interview: SARAH BRIGHTMAN TALKS UPCOMING CHRISTMAS TOUR AND 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA'

Interview: SARAH BRIGHTMAN TALKS UPCOMING CHRISTMAS TOUR AND 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF 'THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA'

Last year, the world's biggest-selling soprano and legendary GRAMMY® Award-nominated artist Sarah Brightman entertained her first-ever Christmas livestream concert Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony, and it warmed hearts worldwide as the ultimate holiday event. Given the overwhelming response, and in celebration of her favorite time of year, Sarah begins a new Christmas tradition this year with her first-ever A Christmas Symphony Tour.

Accompanied by an orchestra and a choir, Sarah decks the halls with show-stopping renditions of classics from the Christmas canon, along with personal holiday favorites and her greatest hits. A Christmas Symphony is sure to be an unforgettable Christmas spectacle during the most wonderful time of the year!

BWW's Kevin Pollack sat down with Sarah to talk about the upcoming tour and her history with The Phantom of the Opera.

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BWW: Let's talk about the new show you're touring, A Christmas Symphony. What can audiences expect?

Brightman: Well, the reason it came to be is, before last Christmas, when we were on heavy lockdown, I just wanted to put something together to stream for any of my fans that wanted to watch and listen. But, also, to employ some musicians and wanted to make people feel better, because everyone was suffering during that period. So, I thought, I've done a seasonal Christmas album a few years back, and I thought it would be really nice to do that, and it'll just be a 50-minute show and I've got all the repertoire. So, we started working on it, and we streamed it and got an overwhelming response from it. People really enjoyed it. I knew we weren't going to get theatre going until later this year. So, I thought, well not put a 2 to 2 1/2 hour Christmas show together? So, that is why I'm doing this. Also, it's something maybe I would love to build. Maybe for the future, so I can go to different parts of the world. With the repertoire and everything, it sort of checks all the boxes, and there are some pieces in it which are great for people that want to hear just hear Christmas music. There's some progressive rock that mentions and talks about Christmas in it. There are pieces that are more seasonal, which talk about winter. There's a lovely piece called "Winter Light" in there. There also will be some hits of mine that fit in with the Christmas spirit. So, fans that want to hear them, get to hear them. We've got a lovely choir, a great orchestra and a very lovely but very simple set. I also worked very carefully with the lighting designer of this, because Christmas is a very emotional time for people, so you have to get it right. Actually, I found it is harder to work on this compared to another type of show. That's basically it. I think it's going to be lovely.

BWW: Last year marked your 30th Anniversary of your first solo album, As I come of Age. How do you think you've grown as a performer and artist, and in the industry now, as it's always changing?

Brightman: It's so difficult to say. I think I really appreciate doing what I do. You know, when you're younger, you just go and you do things, and you've got all that youth and vitality, then you go onto the next thing and the next, and in a way, you don't appreciate it. Now, I look back and see everything I do now. Down to my singing coaching every day, all the things I do are really precious, and I think that's where I've grown as a person. Because, I've always worked hard and had a talent and a gift and everything, but it's the appreciation of something and how precious it really is is what you really feel. Also, of course, other people's work as well. To go to the theater now, or watch a movie or anything, I really, really relish every moment of it.

BWW: This year marks 35 years since you debuted as Christine in The Phantom of the Opera in the West End. How has that role helped you over the years and what is your favorite Steve Barton memory?

Brightman: Oh, dear Steve. The last time I saw Steve actually, I went over to Vienna when they were all doing Phantom over there and he was so sweet. He was really lovely. It's hard for me to talk about him actually because it makes me a bit sad. We really lose so many people in the theatre. I remember Geraldine Gardner, who I was sitting next to in my dressing room through the whole run of CATS, and she sadly committed suicide many, many years ago. You lose a lot of people that you know, as we do in life, and Steve was wonderful. But, playing Christine has been wonderful. I think it's such an unusual thing for an artist to have something written for them. I was the muse for Andrew in many ways, and it was very inspired by who I was, what I was going through, the sound of my voice, all the Classical singing training I was going through at the time, etc. He was just inspired to do it. So, what was this young girl, doing all those things, is what it all came out of. So, not only did I have a composer, who wrote pieces around my voice, but it was perfect for my voice at that time. It's a legacy as well for me. It's been fabulous. The interesting thing about it is, is that I'm well known for it in some parts of the world, but not in others, because I moved on and did other things, trying for people to get to know me for other things. But, obviously, in our Western hemisphere, I'm known for that and it's a wonderful thing to have. The nicest thing is, when I go and see it, which I don't see often, I take my nieces and nephews and everyone to see it, and it's a jewel. It's lovely to see somebody else actually taking over the part, and still keeping what myself, Hal Prince and the wonderful people that worked with us to get the character out, still sits with these women that are taking it on. But then, they bring their own other thing to it as well. I feel very very privileged that that happened.

BWW: What advice would you give to young actors and singers in the industry that want to make it in the industry amidst coming out of this pandemic?

Brightman: I think during the pandemic, a lot of actors and singers kind of lost heart, because they were worried what was going to happen afterwards. You kind of forget what the beauty of what you are doing and how important it is, because art is a really important thing for people. Now, getting through this time, is to go and push even further. Bring your talent out and get out there and do things, even if it feels strange, and just keep going. This is a blip. Just put it behind you carry on, because there was a reason you were there in the first place.

To purchase tickets for Sarah Brightman's A Christmas Symphony Tour, visit www.sarahbrightman.com for more info and tour dates.



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