Pop lolitas like Christine Aguilera and Tatu can get away with it but when a
"serious" older singer like Sarah Brightman shows big hair, cleavage and
legs, the critics are not amused.
Worse, they accuse Brightman of using sex appeal to sell her latest album.
"I really don't calculate what I do," the 42-year old tells Life! on the
phone from Taiwan, "but I do enjoy taking things from different places and
fusing them together."
Certainly, the singer from Berkhampstead, Britain, has detoured quite a bit
from what the public knows her by: a star of blockbuster West End musicals
like Cats and former wife of award-winning composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Harem, the title of her sixth release, is a sensual collection of Middle
Eastern odes, accompanied by a peek-a-boo publicity photos which suggest
that Brightman has taken a leaf out of Kylie Minogue's playbook.
"It's always my passion to create something of my own. I've always been
a visual person," she says in a crisp British accent, "and I think women my
age really start to blossom".
Ironically, her speaking voice bears the youth and smallness of a
No matter, for her track record is certainly not inconsequential. Before
wowing West End, she was a teenage dancer on the BBC's Top Of The Pops show,
and was later part of the 1970s girl-group Hot Gossip. They had one strangely
titled hit called I fell In Love With A Starship Trooper in 1978.
After star-making turns as Jemima and Christine in the phenomenally
successful musicals Cats and The Phantom Of The Opera respectively during
the 1980s, she leapt from the stage to the charts.
Five albums later, including the lauded Time To Say Goodbye - her duet with
Andrea Bocelli - Eden and La Luna, Brightman has sold more than 15 million
So it is understandable that she feels confident enough to stray into new
She explains the title of her latest release: "Harem means 'forbidden place'
in Arabic. I've been travelling a lot and reading a lot of Arabic
literature, which was translated into English. That's influenced me
Brightman, who once famously referred to her voice as The Great Gift, has no
intentions of passing on her soprano genes, yet.
It is no secret that her six-year-old marriage to Lloyd Webber failed in 1990
because he wanted babies while she wanted to tour and record, then tour some
These days, her partner is German produces Frank Peterson, 41, her boyfriend
for the past 11 years.
"Maybe the Gift is enough to keep giving," she says softly after an
uncomfortable pause, when the subject of children is brought up.
"But I have no plans for kids definitely at this stage." Not especially when
she embarks on a world tour later this year.
While she confesses to lapsing into bouts of perfectionism - "I can never be
100 per cent happy with an album" - she assures that she is no difficult
"Diva, hmm," she wonders aloud. "I don't quite know what it means but I hope
it's not negative. I'm very peace-loving. In fact, I'll be the first to run
away at the first sign of trouble."
Flee from trouble? Surely a classical-pop superstar like herself - whose
crossover blueprint has spawned the careers of people like Charlotte
Church and Filippa Giordano - has always been guided by the best managers?
"The advice people gave me has always been the wrong advice," she counters.
"For a true measure of success, everything has to come from yourself."
Which is where her new soprano-and-sex appeal comes in nicely then.
SIZZLING SARAH: Peek-a-boo look for Birghtman's new album Harem.
The article says Harem is Sarah sixth release. The author is quite
wrong here! Depending on what you count as album, Harem is the 15-th
album full of songs sung by Sarah.
Other than that, the article is not very inspiring or informative, just nice
page-filling material for a newspaper.
The article's (implied) criticism on Sarah's peculiar chose of clothes is
something I share, by the way.