HOLIDAY TIME IN THE CITY WITH SARAH BRIGHTMAN

Sports, Broadway shows, and live concerts are returning to New York and artists from around the world are coming back to do the honors. Sarah Brightman, international singing and theater superstar, who pioneered the classical crossover music movement and is famed for possessing a vocal range of over three octaves, is one such artist who will be bringing live shows to Staten Island’s iconic St. George Theatre this holiday season. Sarah joins us tonight from her home in Britain with a preview of her upcoming A Christmas Symphony tour, based on a livestream she put together last winter, during the heart of the pandemic.

Sarah Brightman’s local tour dates include November 27th at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, New Jersey, November 28th at the St. George Theatre in Staten Island, December 3rd at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts in Greenvale, New York, and December 4th at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

TRANSCRIPT

THINK, OH, SHE'S GOING TO BE SINGING CHRISTMAS CAROLS.

CHRISTMAS IS SUCH A PERSONAL THING FOR PEOPLE AND IT'S NOT NECESSARILY A TIME JUST FOR CHRISTIANS, IT CAN BE FOR NON-CHRISTIANS, IT CAN BE FOR PEOPLE THAT JUST WANT FUN AT THAT TIME OF YEAR.

WE HAVE A HOLIDAY PERIOD SO WE'RE ABLE TO TAKE A LITTLE TIME OFF.

SO IT WAS QUITE INTERESTING GOING THROUGH ALL THE SONGS THAT PEOPLE TEND TO THINK OF AT THAT TIME AND WHAT I WOULD FIT SINGING.

AND IT'S A HUGE REPERTOIRE.

I MANAGED TO GET SOME BEAUTIFUL PE PIECES IN THERE.

I'VE GOT SOME OF MY OWN HITS THAT SORT OF FIT INTO THIS TIME OF YEAR.

I'VE GOT SOME GREAT ORCHESTRAL PIECES IN THERE.

I HAVE PEIECES IN THERE THAT SUT PEOPLE BUT AREN'T HAVING SUCH A GREAT TIME RIGHT NOW.

AND THERE ARE SOME SONGS TALKING ABOUT FATHER CHRISTMAS AND THAT KIND OF THING.

IT'S GOOD, IT'S GOT EVERYTHING IN THERE.

OF COURSE.

I ALSO WONDER, THOUGH, BECAUSE I THINK FOR AN AUDIENCE MEMBER, JUST KNOWING THAT THIS KIND OF SHOW IS COMING BACK AND I CAN GO TO A THEATER AND I CAN SEE A LIVE CHRISTMAS SHOW, I'M SURE THAT DOES SOMETHING EMOTIONAL FOR THE AUDIENCE, BUT FOR YOU AS A PERFORMER AND ALSO FOR, YOU KNOW, THE MUSICIANS THAT WILL BE WORKING AGAIN, WHAT DOES A SHOW LIKE THIS GOING ON THE ROAD MEAN FOR YOU?

A HUGE AMOUNT.

YOU KNOW, IT'S -- WE DON'T NORMALLY GO THROUGH A SITUATION LIKE WE HAVE FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS WHERE A LOT HAS BEEN TAKEN AWAY FROM US.

SO UNTIL THIS ACTUALLY HAPPENS, YOU DON'T REALLY REALIZE WHAT YOU HAVE OR WHAT THE WORLD OFFERS UNTIL IT'S NOT THERE ANYMORE.

AND I THINK THAT'S ESPECIALLY WITH THE ARTS.

NOT ONLY FOR THE PERFORMERS BUT ALSO FOR AUDIENCES THAT ARE USED TO JUST GOING TO THE CINEMA OR THE MOVIES OR GOING TO SEE A CONCERT OR WHATEVER.

I DO REMEMBER THE SUMMER WHEN WE WERE UNLOCKED FOR A LITTLE WHILE, THEY DID A PRODUCTION OF A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC IN A SMALL TOWN IN ENGLAND, AND I TOOK MY MOTHER TO SEE IT AND HER FRIEND.

AND THE AUDIENCE, IT WAS PACKED, AND THE AUDIENCE WERE SITTING VERY, VERY SORT OF CALMLY IN THEIR MASKS VERY POLITELY, AND THEN AT THE END OF THE PERFORMANCE, EVERYBODY STARTED CRYING, BECAUSE IT WAS SUCH A RELIEF TO BE COMMUNALLY THERE WATCHING SOMETHING THAT WAS ARTISTIC.

AND IT JUST MADE EVERYONE, I THINK, REALIZE HOW MUCH THEY HAD MISSED IT.

OF COURSE, OF COURSE, AND I THINK THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE DOUBLY MORE WITH HOLIDAY MUSIC.

FOR PEOPLE WHO TUNED IN TO THE LIVESTREAM, WOULD THIS BE MORE OF A SONG FOR SONG CREATION OR HAS THIS BEEN REIMAGINED, SO TO SPEAK?

IT'S BEEN REIMAGINED.

IT WAS CERTAINLY A GREAT SORT OF CATALYST TO START THE SHOW OFF.

YOU HAVE PROBABLY 45 OR 50 MINUTES OF MUSIC, AND THIS IS AN OVER TWO-HOUR SHOW WITH THE USUAL THINGS.

WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO BRING A LOT MORE SONGS INTO IT.

YES, THE SPIRIT OF IT WILL BE THE SAME, BUT, OF COURSE, THAT WAS FOR A BROADCAST AT THAT TIME.

SO THIS WILL HAVE A LOT MORE IN IT.

WELL, I WANT TO SORT OF TURN TO -- BECAUSE YOU MENTION THIS HAS BEEN SUCH AN INCREDIBLY AWKWARD AND CHALLENGING TIME FOR SO MANY PEOPLE THESE PAST TWO YEARS.

WE KNOW THAT COVID HIT THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY PARTICULARLY HARD.

WHAT HAS IT BEEN LIKE FOR, YOU KNOW, CREATORS, PARTICULARLY MUSICIANS AND SINGERS AND PERFORMERS TO HAVE -- SUDDENLY HAVE NOT JUST YOUR SOURCE OF INCOME, BUT YOUR PASSION BE SORT OF TAKEN AWAY?

WELL, DO YOU KNOW, I'VE TALKED TO MANY, MANY PEOPLE AND IT'S ALWAYS -- I'M ALWAYS REMINDED, ACTUALLY, ABOUT HOW RESILIENT ARTISTS ARE.

BECAUSE A LOT OF THEM ARE SELF-EMPLOYED AND THEY GO THROUGH HARD TIMES AND THEY'RE USED TO SURVIVING, AND IT'S AMAZING WHAT PEOPLE DID TO JUST KEEP GOING.

AND I'M SORT OF VERY PROUD OF MY OWN LOT, ACTUALLY, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL TALKING TO EACH OTHER AND WE FIND THINGS TO DO AND WE FIND WAYS TO KEEP WORKING, EVEN IF IT'S LEARNING PASSAGES OUT OF PLAYS.

I, FOR EXAMPLE, DID A HUGE AMOUNT OF WORK ON MY VOICE.

I WENT INTO A BUBBLE WITH MY SINGING TEACHER OVER HERE IN ENGLAND, AND I GOT EVERY DAY WITH HER AND I WAS ABLE TO COMPLETELY RETRAIN OR LOOK AT SOME OF THE THINGS I COULDN'T DEAL WITH WHEN I WAS ON TOUR AS WELL AS I COULD WITH ANOTHER PAIR OF EARS LISTENING.

SO I MADE MYSELF VERY USEFUL AT THAT TIME FOR MYSELF.

IT WAS ALSO -- YOU KNOW, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAD MORE OF A CHANCE, BECAUSE ARTISTS ARE ALWAYS ON THE ROAD, AND THEY DON'T GET AS MUCH TIME TO SPEND WITH THEIR FAMILIES.

I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE, THEY ACTUALLY ENJOYED THE TIME SPENDING MORE WITH THEIR CHILDREN, OR WITH THEIR ELDERLY PARENTS OR WHATEVER IT WAS.

FOR ME IT WAS GREAT BECAUSE I WAS ABLE TO SEE MY MOTHER A LOT MORE WHO IS GETTING OLDER NOW, AND SHE CAN'T SEE VERY WELL.

AND I'VE HAD AN AMAZING TIME WITH HER.

THERE HAVE BEEN UP SIDES AS WELL.

I THINK THAT'S ALSO BEEN AN UNUSUAL AND UNEXPECTED JOURNEY FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE, FINDING WHERE THEY WERE LIKE, OH, BUT SOME THINGS I ACTUALLY HAVE REDISCOVERED.

I ALSO WANT TO ASK YOU, THOUGH, ABOUT HOW YOU'RE FEELING ABOUT RETURNING TO THE STAGE WITHOUT PUTTING MYSELF TOO MUCH INTO THE STORY.

I, AS A JOURNALIST, HAVE HAD A FEW IN-PERSON EVENTS, AND I'M QUITE COMFORTABLE, BUT I FOUND MYSELF ODDLY NERVOUS.

AND I'M WONDERING IF THERE IS ANY KIND OF, LIKE, DO I EVEN REMEMBER HOW TO RIDE THIS BIKE?

ARE YOU FEELING ANY KIND OF NERVES?

YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.

I HAVE A WHOLE TEAM OF PEOPLE THAT HAVEN'T BEEN DOING THIS, OBVIOUSLY, FOR THE TIME WE'VE BEEN TALKING ABOUT, AND EVERYBODY IS ON HIGH ALERT AT THE MOMENT AND WE'RE TRYING TO KEEP EVERYBODY CALM AND SAY, LOOK, AS SOON AS YOU GET GOING, IT WILL BE FINE.

DOWN TO THE SMALLEST DETAILS.

I THINK IT'S PERFECTLY NORMAL.

AND AS LONG AS EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT EVERYBODY ELSE IS IN THE SAME BOAT, IT'S FINE.

AND YOU KIND OF -- AND THE THING ABOUT WHAT I DO, ONCE YOU COME TO THE STAGE, IT'S LIKE RIDING A BIKE.

IT'S JUST THE THOUGHT OF IT WHEN YOU HAVEN'T DONE IT FOR A WHILE.

I THINK IT WILL BE FINE.

ACTUALLY, IF WAS VERY LUCKY, BECAUSE THERE WAS A TIME IN FRANCE WHEN THEY WEREN'T LOCKED DOWN LAST SUMMER, AND I WAS ABLE TO GO OVER THERE AND DO LOTS OF TV SHOWS BECAUSE I WAS PROMOTING A FRENCH ALBUM WHICH I HAVE DONE WITH FRENCH ARLTI -- ARTISTS OVR THERE.

I WAS LUCKY BECAUSE THEY HAD THE TV SHOW AND I WAS ABLE TO DO THAT A LITTLE BIT.

SO THAT WAS FUN.

THAT'S GREAT.

BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO NEW YORK, YOU'RE GOING TO BE PERFORMING AT THE INTRO AT THE ST. GEORGE THEATER IN STATEN ISLAND, AND I WONDERED IF YOU HAD EVER PERFORMED THERE BEFORE OR WERE EVEN AWARE THAT STATEN ISLAND HAD THIS AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL PERFORMANCE VENUE.

THIS PERFORMANCE VENUE IS ACTUALLY VERY FAMOUS.

EVERYBODY KNOWS ABOUT IT EVEN IF ONE HASN'T PERFORMED.

IT'S AN ABSOLUTE JOY FOR ME, BECAUSE THE VENUES TO ME, I JUST LOVE ARCHITECTURE, AND I LOVE HISTORY, AND SO TO GO INTO THESE VENUES OFTEN FOR ME -- IT'S ALMOST MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE PERFORMANCE.

BECAUSE YOU GO IN THERE AND I'M TAKING LITTLE PHOTOS AND I'M LOOKING AT THIS PIECE OF ARCHITECTURE AND HOW IT WORKS AND ALL THESE THINGS, BECAUSE THAT'S OFTEN WHY PEOPLE LOVE TO GO TO THE THEATER, OFTEN BECAUSE OF THE BUILDINGS AND THE HISTORY.

I LOVE TO GO TO A LOT OF THE OPERA HOUSES, IF I CAN, BECAUSE YOU THINK OF ALL THOSE YEARS BACK WHEN ALL THOSE OPERA FANS HAVE BEEN THERE AND SITTING IN THE BOXES AND ALL TALKING TO EACH OTHER, AND IT'S JUST A LOVELY FEELING TO BE IN A BEAUTIFUL VENUE, SO I'M VERY EXCITED.

GREAT, THEN WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE, IF THEY WANT TO FIND OUT WHO INFORMATION, YOU CAN VISIT US AT WWW.METROFOCUS.ORG TO GET MORE INFORMATION.

SARAH BRIGHTMAN, WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOU SEPREADING THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT IN NEW YORK.

AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING ALL MY PEOPLE AGAIN.

©2021 WNET. All Rights Reserved. 825 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10019

WNET is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 26-2810489