Sarah Brightman promises 'intimate but spectacular' Christmas Manila concert

Kristofer Purnell - Philstar.com
Sarah Brightman promises 'intimate but spectacular' Christmas Manila concert
World’s biggest-selling soprano and Grammy-nominated artist Sarah Brightman

MANILA, Philippines — British veteran soprano Sarah Brightman will be bringing her "A Christmas Symphony Tour" to Manila as part of the concert's first trip overseas, having successfully staged it last year.

In an exclusive virtual press conference with the media including Philstar.com, where she donned black as she joins the United Kingdom in mourning the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Brightman said Christmas is her favorite time of the year and knows of its importance to Filipinos.

"[Christmas] is very personal to me, and it's special particularly to the Philippines," Brightman said as she joked about being aware that the country begins festivities as early as September.

Because of the holiday's significance that she wants to carry to audiences, Brightman took great care in choosing what music she would perform by mixing Christmas songs and some of her own hits.

These include traditional and religious types of Christmas music, and reformed arrangements of her well-known songs; an example she gives is that a choir will be singing a near-gothic mash-up of "Masquerade" and "The Phantom of the Opera" from Andrew Lloyd's Webber's famous musical.

It was in "The Phantom of the Opera" that Brightman leaped into the spotlight by originating Christine Daae opposite Michael Crawford's Phantom, and the character has been forever attached to the singer over 30 years since the musical debuted.

"It will be intimate, but also spectacular," Brightman teased.

Personal Christmas tales

Brightman said that she often does performances and concerts around Christmastime, but for the days surrounding December 25, she spends them with her family.

Related: Sarah Brightman to bring 'A Christmas Symphony Tour' to Manila this December

The singer shared that she has a huge family, with up to 30 people celebrating together, that comes around to have Christmas Eve dinner then attend midnight mass.

Her family would then open gifts on Christmas morning before having a late lunch, then on Boxing Day (December 26), they would give out food to families who've yet to have their Christmas meal.

Yet among such annual traditions, Brightman's most unforgettable Christmas memory was the first Christmas she could remember as a child where she was fascinated by lights going on around trees and lanterns being lit in churches.

"It was magical and mystical," she reflected, associating the memory to the famous holiday song "Silent Night," which she also included in her concert's setlist.

This will not be Brightman's first time visiting Manila, although this time, she is going to make sure she will have more time in the city, particularly in its Christmas vibe.

"[I want to see] the city's history, the architecture, enjoy the food! I just want to get out and enjoy the city," the singer added.

"Sarah Brightman: A Christmas Symphony" in Manila will be on December 7 in Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are currently on sale at ticketnet.com and TicketNet outlets nationwide.

RELATED: Sarah Brightman chases dreams of space

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