|Artist: Sarah Brightman|
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|Over the past two and a half decades Sarah Brightman has established herself as the quintessential crossover artist and is the world's biggest-selling soprano of all time, with worldwide sales of more than 26 million albums and over 2 million DVDs. 2008 brought Sarah Brightman's already stellar career to new heights, from the chart-topping Symphony album (her most highly-anticipated studio album in five years) to her first-ever Christmas album (A Winter Symphony) to performing the Olympic theme song at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to the launch of her critically-acclaimed Symphony World Tour.|
Kicking off that phenomenally successful year, in January 2008, Sarah Brightman recorded and filmed Symphony - Live in Vienna within the mystical walls of Stephansdome Cathedral in the heart of where classical music evolved - Vienna, Austria. Renowned for its awe-inspiring Gothic architecture, the cathedral was the perfect setting to enter the magical world of Symphony led by the voice of the beautiful, gothic-angel. The concert includes repertoire from her album Symphony and some of her most popular songs ("Phantom of the Opera," "Time to Say Goodbye"). Symphony - Live in Vienna premiered on PBS TV stations in March 2008 and was an immediate hit with viewers.
Everything about Sarah Brightman is multi-dimensional. Her penchant for fusing musical genres. Her multi-faceted voice. Her contrasting personas. Is it any wonder then that the life and career of this multi-platinum artist is equally colorful and intriguing?
Very often, fans of Sarah's latest works are surprised to learn of her illustrious past in Andrew Lloyd Webber productions on Broadway and the West End. Conversely, those who remember her landmark role in Phantom of the Opera find themselves marveling at the exciting direction that her career has taken in the decade since her departure from musical theatre. Hardcore Sarah fans, no doubt, are well aware that her singing career began with chart-topping success in the disco era, with a dancing career that extended all the way back to her childhood.
Sarah Brightman was born an entertainer. From the tender age of three, she was dancing at festivals in her hometown of Berkhamsted, a sleepy market town outside of London. By age five, she was performing up to four routines and winning them all.
It was her ballet teacher, an examiner for the Royal Academy of Ballet, who made her parents aware that Sarah was unusually gifted. As such, Sarah's show business aspirations were regarded not as childhood fantasy, but as precocious ambition, deserving of regard and nurture.
Despite severe bouts of homesickness, she enrolled in a performing arts boarding school at age eleven and was well on the way to furthering her dreams at that pre-pubescent age.
As a child, Sarah was exposed to an eclectic assortment of music, for hers was a household where Tom Jones and Tchaikovsky got equal billing and airtime. Sarah was just as happy twirling around in the kitchen to psychedelic pop as she was executing ballet maneuvers to serious classical movements.
It is perhaps not surprising that decades later, Sarah Brightman would break musical ground by fusing seemingly incongruous genres; gliding seamlessly between pop and classical, dance and trip-hop, Gregorian chants and Eastern refrains. Even her gravitation towards Gregorian chants can be traced back to her years of singing in Berkhamsted's church choir.
Tuneful choir voice notwithstanding, the assumption by all concerned had been that Sarah would be a professional dancer. But it was not until Sarah's performance at the age of twelve at her boarding school that her singing aspirations truly took root.
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