Sarah Brightman‘s been everywhere. The world-famous soprano’s toured all over the globe, gracing stages from London to New York and beyond. But Brightman’s next adventure will take her much further than she’s ever been before. And she’ll have to travel by rocket.
“The idea came from me as a child growing up in the 1960s, seeing on a black-and-white TV screen the first man going onto the moon,” she says. “We thought differently after that, we saw how human beings could do things that were truly spectacular and out of the box.”
So many years later Brightman, the legendary singer and actress, still has the will to travel into space. And not too long ago, she finally found the way.
“The reality came when I started working and living in America,” Brightman, whose 11th studio album, Dreamchaser, came out April 16. “In California it’s a normality to go to Venice Beach or Santa Monica to see the rocket launches happening. A lot of people in the aerospace area are sitting there, so I met a rocket scientist who said to me that the idea of taking a flight nowadays is totally possible.”
After booking herself on a suborbital Virgin Galactic flight, Brightman was offered an invitation to visit the International Space Station (well, two invitations; she declined the first) and set about training to make the journey into space. “I took the first set of medicals and passed, amazingly,” the 52-year-old says. “That lead me to Star City, Russia to go through the physical and mental tests and medicals again. I passed everything and became a cosmonaut in training.”
So, while Brightman won’t make it into space until 2015 or so, she says the music on Dreamchaser—produced by Mike Hedges (U2, The Cute) and featuring original tracks as well as covers of songs by Wings, Cocteau Twins and Sigur Rós—is a nod to her impending trip through the galaxy, which, if all goes according to plan, will feature an in-flight recording session.
“It’s been very inspirational to me in what I do because I am an artist,” she says. “It’s helped me set up the idea of what this album would be. This album kind of reflects my feelings about the universe and space as well as perspectives on our planet and humankind. Everything’s very uplifting and outward.”