April 1, 2009

A diva comes to town

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I went to the Sarah Brightman concert tonight. She has an amazing voice and I finally had a chance to see her live, which was pretty exciting. There's a clear difference between the average age of this concert and that of, say, Hamasaki Ayumi. Lots of middle-aged people and old folks, and even our very own Bowtie Tsang was in attendance.

The concert started with the band playing Lisa Gerrard's "Sanvean" - one of my all-time favorite songs. Sarah didn't perform vocals on this song, but simply made her entrance during the latter half. The band then launched into the energetic intro of "Fleurs du Mal", followed by a few more songs from the album "Symphony".

The first half of the concert closed out with "Attesa", my favorite song from the album "Symphony". An adaptation of the Intermezzo from Pietro Mascagni's opera "Cavalleria rusticana", it's a piece I've always loved. Sarah performed the song while sitting on a swing in mid-air, while red confetti slowly fell from the ceiling. She also had a massive train to her skirt, one that hung all the way back down to the stage...

After a brief intermission, Sarah came out with "You Take My Breath Away" from the album "Harem", followed by a few other songs from the same album as well as "Luna". This half of the concert ended, of course, with "Time to Say Goodbye". Alessandro Safina toured with Sarah and sang the male vocals on a few of the songs, including the part of the Phantom. I was hoping that Christine wouldn't make an appearance, but Sarah was playing to the crowd and I'll bet that over half the people came to hear this particular number...

The encore started with "Deliver Me" and ended the way I thought it would. She is in Hong Kong and of course she would end with "You and Me", the theme song to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This won the approval of the crowd, and everyone was satisfied.

What impressed me most was the setup of the stage. Sarah's many costume changes were designed to work with the animation for each song, projected downward from the top and reflected onto giant glass panels angled at roughly 45 degrees. I thought the intermix of projection and live performers creating a complete picture together was really innovative.

I was really happy to have been able to see Sarah live for the first time, to hear her beautiful voice not through a recording but in a concert hall. I hope I'll get to see her again.


cina said...

Hi Peech
I know this is pretty old but has Sarah ever been back to perform in HK? If not, is there any plans for her to come back to HK to perform? I would love to attend her concert and I don't think she will ever come to M'sia. She is my favourite soprano.

regards, cina

p/s don't you ever eat at home or have home cooked food haha..

Peech said...


Sarah hasn't been back to HK since this concert in 2009, and I haven't heard any news about her returning.


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