Soprano in space

Updated: 2013-06-02 08:03

By Zhang Kun(China Daily)

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 Soprano in space

Sarah Brightman will tour China in June with her new album Dreamchaser. Provided to China Daily

Soprano in space

Sarah Brightman's tour of China in June will be out of this world, well, almost. She will sing songs from her new album Dreamchaser before preparing for her outer space trip. Zhang Kun in Shanghai gets a heads up on the show.

Sarah Brightman will tour China with her new album Dreamchaser before taking her own dream-chasing voyage to outer space.

The English singer is the world's best-selling soprano, and the only artist to sing at two Olympic openings: 1992 in Barcelona and 2008 in Beijing.

Her new China tour, which will kick off in June, will cover such cities as Taipei, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Beijing.

The 53-year-old soprano saw a rocket launch from California a few years ago, and her passion to visit the international space station was ignited when a rocket scientist told her that she could also participate in a space flight.

"I was one of the early bookers," Brightman told China Daily in an e-mail interview.

And because of the space travel plans, she was inspired to work on the new album.

"All the pieces in my repertoire and songs I really love started coming into play for this particular record. There was a map going back to the 1960s right up until this time. It's a dream that's being realized," she says.

Brightman has always been interested in the idea of space exploration and its possibilities.

"It gave me a force in my life to be experimental in my music career and go where no man has gone before," she says. "The whole journey has inspired a lot in my artistic life which I didn't really expect. You always think a journey like that is more technical, but it's exactly the opposite."

Brightman took the first round of medical examination in Houston, which proved she was "extremely healthy for my age", then passed a psychological test "with flying colors" in Russia.

She will take six months of further training in Russia, before departing for the outer space in 2015, "allowing plenty of time for a world tour supporting Dreamchaser, including China and other countries," she says.

Brightman has toured China twice with her performances, in 2004 and 2009 respectively.

"I was impressed by everything I saw in China, and the audiences are very fantastic. There is always a celebratory feel in the air," the British soprano says.

"Through my official website, such as Facebook, I receive a lot of messages from my fans, they come from everywhere in the world."

For the China tour, Brightman will perform her broad repertoire of musical highlights, arias, and artistic songs, as well as pieces from the new album Dreamchaser.

Her previous concerts in China are famous for glamorous visual setting and the audio effect.

"The Dreamchaser will show how I chase my dreams, aspire to the theme of the space," Brightman says. "This time, we will use more advanced technology to make a wonderful stage."

Although she declined to release more details, she promised "you will see the stars, the moon, the whole space at the performance."

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(China Daily 06/02/2013 page15)