Katherine St. Asaph - WHEN SARAH BRIGHTMAN ROCKED: FLY AND THE FORGING OF CLASSICAL CROSSOVER
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Of music’s ever-splintering genres, classical crossover might have the largest ratio of albums sold (lots) to words written (few). The genre’s subject to a thousand preconceptions, some inaccurate and some accurate but only just. One of its founding albums, however, soprano Sarah Brightman’s album Fly, is quite different from the anodyne template most people ascribe its genre; it’s part U2, part Enigma, part electronic, sung in about three voices and only briefly classical. It also explains most of her future work and how the genre sounds today.
“[Fly] was radically different: part stadium rock, part diluted goth, part timely electronics and part stately swoon, with just enough classical influences to showcase Brightman’s training. The year was 1995, the album was Fly, and the sound marked the beginnings of a template for everything she’s done and all the millions she’s sold since.”