[HOT TRACK]Making variety a trademark

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[HOT TRACK]Making variety a trademark

"A delicate waif one minute, an operatic diva the next," was how The Hollywood Reporter newspaper described the myriad talents of Sarah Brightman, whose last two albums, "Eden" and "La Luna," have been big sellers.

Brightman, born in England in 1960, began her career by singing in musicals at age 13. Eventually she developed into the soprano who raised eyebrows last year when her crossover-classics album "La Luna" debuted on Billboard top-20 charts. Brightman is at her best when she mixes different elements. "Being varied is something I do instinctively and naturally," she once said.

For Koreans, Brightman is regarded as a pioneer - one of the first to succeed with the concept of crossover music, or hybrids of pop and traditional styles. It's safe to say that the success of crossover albums subsequently produced in Korea, such as Jo Sumi's "Prayer" or Sin Young-ok's "White Christmas," which both mix gospel and pop, owe a debt to Brightman.

In "Classics," the Briton with the piercing green-gray eyes presents a blend of her favorites from her previous albums with a smattering of new songs and new recordings of old songs. The new versions of old cuts include "Pie Jesu," which was written especially for Brightman by Andrew Lloyd Webber, whom she was married to briefly in the 1980s. The two have worked together in big Broadway musicals like "Phantom of the Opera."

Two new songs, "Alhambra" and "Dans La Nuit," are original Brightman adaptations, featuring new lyrics sung to classical melodies by Francisco Tarrega and Chopin. The new recordings of "O Mio Babbino Caro" and "Nessun Dorma," plus "Pie Jesu" and two other new songs, are backed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

The album also features "Time to Say Goodbye," the hit duet Brightman recorded with Andrea Bocelli for 1997's "Timeless," and "La Wally," a hit from "La Luna." Other encore selections from the album "Eden" are "Lascia Ch'io Pianga," "Anytime, Anywhere" and "Bailero," and from "La Luna" come "Serenade - How Fair This Place," "Figlio Perduto" and the title track.

Sarah Brightman is planning an Asian promotional tour that would start early next year. The singer has also expressed an interest in organizing an event with the actors from the adaptatio of "Phantom of the Opera," now on stage at the LG Arts Center.

by Park Soo-mee

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