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Sarah Brightman

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Birthdate: August 14, 1960
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Sarah Brightman (born August 14, 1960) is an English classical crossover soprano, actress and dancer.

Brightman debuted as a dancer in troupes such as Hot Gossip and later released a string of disco singles. She achieved greater fame as a musical theatre performer and partner of theatre composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom she originated several roles including Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera. Her 1984 marriage to Lloyd Webber attracted active tabloid coverage. The couple divorced in 1990, ending her musical theatre career.

After her divorce, Brightman established a position as a crossover artist with former Enigma producer Frank Peterson. Her style, a blend of classical vocals and pop-inspired instrumentation and arrangement, earned her further success. To date, Brightman has received over 150 Gold and Platinum awards in 34 countries and is the only artist to hold #1 spots on the Billboard Classical and Dance charts simultaneously.

Sarah Brightman was born in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England to Paula and Grenville Brightman. She was the eldest of six children. Her ambition to be an artist was apparent from an early age; beginning at age three, she took ballet lessons. At age eleven Brightman attended a boarding school for theatre, an experience she recalled in an interview with The Independent as troublesome. Brightman was teased by other students and ran away once, but nevertheless she remained at the school. Later, she auditioned for London's Royal Ballet but was rejected.

Brightman achieved even greater success with her starring role as Christine Daaé in Lloyd Webber's adaptation of The Phantom of the Opera. The role of Christine, like Requiem before it, was specifically written for her. Lloyd Webber refused to open The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway unless Brightman originated the role of Christine. Initially, the American Actors' Equity Association balked, due to their policy of hiring only Americans. Lloyd Webber had to agree to cast an American in a leading role in his next West End musical before the Equity would allow Brightman to appear (a promise he kept later in the casting for Aspects of Love).

Most recently, the Harem tour grossed over $60 million and sold over 700,000 tickets, $15 million and 225,000 sales of which came from the North American leg, although with ticket prices raised 30% from previous tours, average sales per venue were up 65%. In North America, Harem tour promoters Clear Channel Entertainment (now Live Nation) took the unusual step of advertising to theatre subscribers, in an effort to reach fans of Brightman's Broadway performances, and also sold VIP tickets, at $750 each, that included on-stage seating during the concert and a backstage pass.

Brightman performed at the Concert For Diana in July 2007, singing "All I Ask Of You" from Phantom of the Opera in a duet with Josh Groban.

"What is amazing about Sarah is that she has two voices, really. She can produce a pop, contemporary sound, but she can also blossom out into a light soprano. The soprano part of her voice can go up to an E natural above high C. She doesn’t sing it full out, but it is there. Of course, she has to dance while she is singing some of the time, so it’s all the more extraordinary."


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