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Beautiful, Interrupted

Sarah Brightman’s performance at the Fleet Center was phenomenal. The audience was swept away by her daring costumes, fantastic lighting effects, and of course her voice which was exquisite and moved through you in a beautiful way.
One of her opening pieces, “La Lune/Winter in July,” was opera with hints of techno music throughout and demonstrated her ability to sing both classical and pop rock without missing a beat. Her costume was daring and turned the heads of many, as her seductive leather skirt had a diagonally wide and open slit up to her hip.

Perhaps one of her most intriguing costumes was the sheer hoop skirt she wore over tights and a sexy leotard. The sparkly skirt took on the color of the lighting effects and looked either transparent or opaque depending upon whether the light was shining behind her or in front of her. Either way, she looked like a princess singing in the night.

The first half of her show highlighted numerous classical selections such as Beethoven’s “Figlio Perduto” and, surprisingly, “Nessun Dorma” from the opera “Turandot,” a beautiful aria that is most closely associated not with a soprano, but with arguably the world’s greatest living tenor, Luciano Pavarotti. Brightman sang both pieces beautifully and also a few classic rock pieces such as Simon and Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair.” While the dancing looked a bit strained and unnatural, her voice resonated through the Fleet Center with clear and unshaken beauty, and she left the audience excitably ready for more.

The second half of her concert had many special effects including the exploding fireworks that engulfed the stage just before Brightman’s performance of “Whiter Shade of Pale,” and her suspension in midair over a giant, spinning moon as she sang another song while two bare-chested male dancers twirled and spun in mid-air on either side of her.

Following this, however, all went south for a moment while she attempted to recreate her role as the first Christine in “Phantom of the Opera.” While the stage looked great with its smoky mist and candlelights, Brightman’s voice seemed a bit thin, and she sang “Angel of Music” in an awful key.

Additionally, the orchestra wasn’t nearly powerful enough – an organ was definitely needed. I think the audience felt a bit uneasy for her and was glad when this musical selection was over.

Her first closing ended with the popular, “Time To Say Goodbye,” and it’s a good thing it wasn’t her final closing. Otherwise, many in the audience would have been left disappointed. She sounded a bit tired and her voice lacked the power we know is within her. The audience gave her a standing applause nonetheless and after a brief moment, she was back for a truly spectacular closing.

No longer did she sound tired as she belted out numerous classical and pop rock selections. The lighting was dramatic, as were the special effects. The audience was left wowed as her beautiful, magnificent and crystalline voice pounded deep into our souls.

Brightman has sold over 7 Million albums worldwide and over 2 million albums in the U.S. alone. Her latest release, “La Luna” entered the Billboard Pop Chart at #17 and has just been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.

On the amazing diversity of her material, Sarah notes, “Being varied is something I do instinctively and naturally. I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment. Everything is in tune: the voice, the type of music, who I am and who people think I am. I’ve been trying to find my own niche, a style very much my own. At last I’ve found it.”

April 9, 2001
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