Sarah Brightman says she's not nervous about trip to space station
Sarah Brightman listens journalists during news conference in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012 to announce that she will become the first-ever global recording artist to take a spaceflight, teaming up with Space Adventures for a journey to the International Space Station (ISS). (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)
Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, April 11, 2013 2:52PM EDT
TORONTO -- World-renowned soprano Sarah Brightman says she doesn't feel any jitters as she prepares for her trip to the International Space Station in 2015.
"Not one little bit," the 52-year-old British singer in a recent telephone interview to promote her new album, "Dreamchaser," out Tuesday.
"There's lots of anticipation and excitement. I hope I'll be lucky enough that it will happen. Anything can happen from now to then. I'm very positive about it."
Brightman's spacey new album was partly inspired by her upcoming Russian Soyuz journey, which she first announced in October.
The UNESCO ambassador teamed up with private company Space Adventures for the trip and plans to use it to promote messages including peace, sustainable development, and women's education in the sciences.
Brightman said she's booked to go through six to eight months of cosmonaut training before the big blastoff to spend eight days at the space station.
"Things can always change and who knows what can happen, even for me medically, from now to two years," the classical crossover artist said from a recent tour stop in Geneva.
"But I know that things are absolutely on track and that I'm meant to be going in two years' time."
If the flight happens, the former "Cats" and "Phantom of the Opera" star would become the first recording artist in space. She also hopes to make history by possibly recording a song or doing a concert in space for charity.
Brightman collaborated with veteran producer Mike Hedges (U2, the Cure, Dido) on "Dreamchaser," her 11th studio album.
The opening track, "Angel," and the first single, "One Day Like This," are already available digitally at various online retailers.
The songs have Brightman's soaring, soothing vocals over a mix of orchestral and electronic arrangements perfectly suited for a planetarium astronomy show or National Geographic soundtrack.
Brightman said she's already halfway done a follow-up to the concept album and hopes it will become a trilogy about "imagination and dreams and goals."
"It's probably edgier than what I've done before, probably less European," said the recipient of more than 180 gold and platinum awards in over 40 countries.
"But I've always worked with themes. I find it very difficult to just do a sort of album just say, 'OK, I like that song and that song suits my voice and this and that,' and just put a songbook together. I can't do that. There has to be a whole reasoning behind it."
The reason behind "Dreamchaser" was her planned space trip and also a love of the universe ignited by her father and uncle, who flew light aircraft and did a lot of gliding.
"As a child I was always going in light aircraft," said Brightman, who's twice performed the theme songs at the Olympic Games.
"We were always at air shows and I'd be sitting in early Spitfire jets, and then as I grew older, I went out with a guy who had lots of airplanes.
"I would often think, when we were spending all those hours up there in the aircraft, 'God, I wish sometimes I never had to come down."'
Then there was the 1969 Apollo moon landing, which she watched with her family on a partly broken TV in their home in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire, England.
"Although I was really young, I remember it changed me," she said. "I started thinking differently after that about life and what I could do and all sorts of things. It just gave one possibilities and opened one's mind. ... I remember it left me kind of shaky."
In 1978, Brightman's fascination with the skies led to her debut chart hit, the space disco track "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper." And in the '80s, she did some training in Harrier Jump Jets.
She's also touched on astronomical themes in some of her other albums.
"So I think it's always been there," said Brightman.
The Dreamchaser World Tour kicks off in China in June and starts its North American leg on Sept. 13 in Hamilton, Ont.