Brightman: New Directions or New Marketing

Sarah Brightman is the popular UK diva who's been around since late 70's singing songs of sweetness and light. Made internationally famous by marrying Andrew Lloyd Webber during her time performing Cats, she has released numerous albums as part of the Pop gone Opera vocalists Andrea Bocelli or Charlotte Church (not to be confused with Opera gone pop artist like Katherine Jenkins or Lesley Garrett).

It's been a busy year for Sarah, what with two new albums and a role in a film (Repo: the Genetic Opera). With all this activity (and her age, she's 48 this year, so catching up with Madonna) the question begs, is this new stuff new, has Sarah done a 'Madonna' and reinvented herself? or is this just more of the same with a fresh coat of paint?

Repo: the Genetic Opera is a far cry from her time in Cats or Phantom of the Opera all though the voice is recognisable as Sarah. It's also possible to play snatches of the new opera opposite bits of Phantom and confuse which piece you're listening to, the styles are that similar. The latest is a gothic/comic/gore film, while the other is... a gothic,horror film with bits of comedy. I think if Lloyd had been a comic book fan we might have seen even more similarities between the two projects.

The albums, Winter Symphony and Symphony are likely to do very well in sales. Winter Symphony is a Christmas album (which always does well at this time of year) and yet has a darkness to it, with the lush orchestration we've come to expect from Sarah's accompaniment. Symphony is new material for Sarah (although not all new material) and (surprise) she gets to duet with Andrea Bocelli in a version of 'Canto Della Terra.'

The music is lovely, charming, sweet with a sense of tragic melencolia as fits the heroine of Phantom. Sarah's face is lovely, charming, sweet, while the art work for the albums give us a hint of the tragedy hiding just under the surface. If you are in the need for something to lighten the mood, and yet feel reflective, you won't go wrong with these albums (I'm not sure Repo will lighten the mood much, but for not at all Sarah's fault). However, although I'm a huge fan of Christmas music, I doubt Winter Symphony will make it on my list and I already have a lovely version of Andrea singing 'Canto Della Terra'.


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