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[Herald Interview] Sarah Brightman returns with Christmas concert after six years

Brightman in written interview ahead of her concert in December

Sarah Brightman (Live Nation Korea)
Sarah Brightman (Live Nation Korea)

Returning to Korea after about six years, Sarah Brightman, the most commercially successful soprano in the world, will take the stage with her greatest hits and personal holiday favorites to warm the hearts of Korean fans.

The iconic soprano is set to perform at KBS Arena, located in Gangseo-gu, western Seoul, on Dec. 3, as part of her world tour of “A Christmas Symphony,” which she kicked off last year in the US.

“I am very excited to be coming back to Korea with my ‘A Christmas Symphony’ tour and celebrating the holidays with everyone,” Brightman said in an e-mail interview with local media this week. “Korean fans have always been wonderful to me. They are very responsive.”

“The lovely thing about Korea is that whenever I visit, something has changed -- that could be a building or a street or the vibe,” she said sharing her memories of when she visited Korea before.

The Grammy Award-nominated soprano had her first concert in Korea with the “Harem World Tour” in 2004. Her last concert in the nation was in 2016 with her “Gala: An Evening with Sarah Brightman” concert.

“I have watched Korea grow throughout the years because the first time I started going there was the late 80s to early 90s and it is amazing what has happened,” she added.

She continued reminiscing from getting different feelings about the countryside to the very fast-moving city.

“When you get into the countryside and go down the coast, you have a wonderful seafood meal on the sea. The food is incredible because there is so much variation. And I particularly love seafood.”

Sarah Brightman (Live Nation Korea)
Sarah Brightman (Live Nation Korea)

Noted for her splendid costumes and stage production, Brightman said the audience should look for the “human elements” in the upcoming show.

“With technology, we have beautiful lighting and sets that come alive on stage. … (But) the most important thing is always the human element. We have an amazing choir, a beautiful orchestra, and some wonderful guest singers.”

The 62-year-old artist is celebrated for her role of Christine Daae as the original cast member in “The Phantom of the Opera." The original cast soundtrack of the mega-hit musical has sold over 40 million copies worldwide. Her hit song includes “Time to Say Goodbye,” a duet with tenor Andrea Bocelli which has sold over 12 million copies; and “Nella Fantasia,” a song inspired by the movie “The Mission” (1986).

Poster for Sarah Brightman’s “A Christmas Symphony” concert with Korea Modern Philharmonic Orchestra and Winner Opera Chorus (Live Nation Korea)
Poster for Sarah Brightman’s “A Christmas Symphony” concert with Korea Modern Philharmonic Orchestra and Winner Opera Chorus (Live Nation Korea)

The best-selling soprano will perform her all-time favorite songs “The Phantom of the Opera,” “Time to Say Goodbye” and Christmas-themed seasonal pieces with the Korea Modern Philharmonic Orchestra and the Winner Opera Choir.

“I wanted to create a show that incorporated everything we feel about this time of year,” she said explaining what type of programs she is planning for the tour.

“I have a mixture of things -- I’ll sing Christmas songs and some of my hits which I have given a Christmas flair to them.”

Brightman added some religious pieces as she has taken into consideration another side to Christmas which could be a bit sorrowful for those who lost their loved ones due to COVID-19 or the recent tragedy in Itaewon.

In remembrance, she said she had prepared a piece from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s requiem mass called “Pie Jesu.”

“I am really very sad for people with this incident because it was a positive thing that people went out to do. My thoughts go out to all the families who have lost loved ones and the people themselves and I am really sorry about this,” she added.



By Hwang Dong-hee (hwangdh@heraldcorp.com)
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