Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why I Hate Sarah Brightman and Those Like Her

Dear Reader,

As you may know, I'm quite the Broadway afficianado, and by that, I mean that my knowledge of musical theater isn't limited to the Wicked* soundtrack. My recent obsession has been Little Women, but the truth is that my favorite musical is whichever one I've seen last. So with that kind of background, it stands to reason that I would be familiar with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera. It's sort of a hard thing to miss, especially since it was made into a film. And since I'm more than a casual fan, I'd probably be familiar with the recording made by the original cast, which included Michael Crawford and, you guessed it, Sarah Brightman. And you'd probably think I'd be a purist like PetiteSoeur and loathe anything but the original. Well, that part you've got wrong. I love listening to the original soundtrack, but I cringe whenever Sarah Brightman, the original Christine Daae, starts singing.

No, Sarah Brightman isn't some one-hit wonder. Phantom got her started, but it's definiely not where she stopped. She's widely known as a wonderful artist, and it's true that she is well trained and talented. It's how she sings that irks me. Singing, in my opinion, is a very useful tool for conveying human emotion and giving insight into a character. That's one of the reasons that I love musical theater so much--you're delving into the characters by means of more than one medium. When Sarah Brightman sings, you can hear the character and the meaning in her voice, but unfortunately it's drowned out by her own narcissism. She's singing about love or fear or whatever, but all you can hear is, "Look at how well I can sing! I'm the best singer in all the land!" To make matters worse, she's not alone. Listen to The Narrator in the original Broadway Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat album and you'll see what I mean.

Maybe it's a harsh judgement. I mean, I don't personally know Sarah Brightman (or any actors/singers, for that matter) and I'm not an expert in vocal performace. It's just my opinion, after all, and it's not like PetiteSoeur agrees** with me. Still, I am distracted by such performances, as I feel the actor or actress isn't really doing any acting and that's what I came to see (or hear). And then I have this sudden urge to break the CD into millions of tiny pieces, and that's not good.

Regards, best wishes, and food for thought,

-Cecily Jane

*I love Wicked. Really, I do. What I don't love is the perception that to love Wicked is to be a Broadway fan. It's like reading a page in a book at random and telling people you've read the whole thing. Besides, you can't really saturate something in the media without running the risk of making people sick of it.

**For the record, PetiteSoeur and I, while both hardcore fans, rarely agree on anything when it comes to Broadway. It seems we always like the same thing for completely different reasons.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree that she seems well- trained. The weight of her voice and her pitch are perfect. But when watching her perform, she lacks passion and movement. if you've ever watched her sing 'summertime', you'd know. and someone of her command should really be able to enunciate. She may get chills when she sings but I don't think she is narcissistic.

Anonymous said...

About 10 years ago I worked at the Barnes and Noble in Walnut Creek CA and Sarah Brightman came in for a CD signing. She was hella late and she signed for exactly 1 hour and skated. She was a horrible person during that hour and I hate her so much for her crappy attitude!

Anonymous said...

SARAH BRIGHTMAN HAS NO CLASS! JUST NASTY AND LIKE A DIRTY WHORE! AS WHAT SHE SAYS REGARDING THE DEATH OF HER FATHER: "HE SUFFERED FROM DEPRESSION SO IT'S NOT A BIG SURPRISE THAT HE COMMITTED SUICIDE, I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR A LONG LONG TIME." AND ON THE DAY OF HER FATHER'S SUICIDE SHE STILL PERFORMED I THE THEATER. IT REFLECTS HOW A COLD-BLOODED WORKAHOLIC NON-HUMAN SARAH BRIGHTMAN IS! FEEL A STRONG ANTIPATHY FOR HER... WITHOUT HER FATHER, IS THERE ANY SARAH BRIGHTMAN TODAY? MENTAL ILLNESS CAN BE INHERITED. MAYBE ONE DAY WHEN SARAH BRIGHTMAN KILL HERSELF, PEOPLE SAY "IT'S NOT A BIG SURPRISE THAT SHE COMMITTED SUICIDE AS SHE INHERITED THE DEPRESSION FROM HER FATHER. WE ARE WAITING IT FOR FOR A LONG LONG TIME." AND THERE'S NO SYMPATHY AND REGRET FOR HER! THE SAME ATTITUDE AS SHE IS TO HER FATHER'S DEATH! BY WHAT SHE SAYS, IT DRAWS A BIG CROSS OVER HER SINGING AND CREATES A VERY BAD IMPRESSION OF HER. I CAN NO LONGER ENJOY HER SONGS. IT'S SIMPLY DISGUSTING! SHE HAS INSULTED THOSE WHO HAVE DEPRESSION AND EXPRESSES HER WISH FOR THOSE WITH THIS ILLNESS SUICIDE! AS I POST MY HONEST OPINION ON UTUBE, THERE ARE BUNCH OF UTUBE IDIOTS COME TO DEFEND HER! LIKE "THIS IS UTUBE NOT YOUR PSYCHIATRIST", "RUBBLE YOUR CAP WORDS TO YOUR SORDID ASS", "YOU ARE MR. TROLL". SO YOU CAN SEE WHAT KIND OF TERRIBLE PEOPLE ARE FANS OF HER?

Anonymous said...

She is fat and looks like a dog!

The Mad Arab said...

OK well... i never knew she existed until 10 minutes ago when she showed up on a Panasonic commercial... dumb doesn't describe the commercial... she looks like an undead wraith and says "lets talk about...(insert sappy eco business drivel)" ...1st of all its pretty hard to talk to a TV... i tried "talking" back just to confirm that it was in fact impossible to talk to/ with a commercial... im not sure who im more offended by... Panasonic for promoting its personal business interests via exploiting legitimate human issues or Sarah for being the scary-ass spokesperson of the campaign... this series of commercials, (which come in twos here in the U.S. just in case our dull idiots could miss the weird disturbing commercial the first time), fails epically. it just plan scares me (not in a good way) and makes me dislike both Panasonic and Sarah for forcing me to watch it... "it burns us, precious!"

Darya Likhareva said...

I'm sorry, but did I see any of you sing in front of the entire world during 2 Olympics? She might have some character flaws, but don't we all, especially considering she works and preforms so much. I have sang in numerous choirs for over 10 years, and I can assure you that she has MUCH more passion than most singers. Not to mention her talent and voice. I know you're all probably thinking, Oh this girl is just a huge fan. NO. I just know that Sarah Brightman is unlike any other person on this planet.I can not tell you how HARD it is to stand up alone on stage and sing classical music, classics that have been sung before and CAN BE COMPARED, unlike modern pop. AND unlike modern pop, she IS NOT auto tuned, like every other artist. And what do you expect her to do? Dance and prance in underwear around the stage? She sing CLASSICS AND OPERA, NOT POP. Opera is so much more demanding of the body when singing. FYI, Andrew Loydd Webber COMPOSED HIS REQUIEM AND THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA FOR HER. And what ever she says about her father's depression, she is indeed hurt and was speaking matter of factually, COVERING HER REAL FEELING. AND she could just not preform the night her father died. There are things like contracts that exist and mean that she CAN NOT just drop out of a show, when its sold and such short notice. I worked with a composer who's wife died just 2 days before. He was depressed and defiantly seemed out of it, but he kept up to his prior commitment and traveled across the US to work with my choir. And that comment about she being fat, until you're on her level, you have no right to judge her. So, think about what you say before you assume.

T Whitsell said...

Sarah Brightman is the most beautiful and most talented woman in the entire world I am under her spell and really don't care who has a bad opinion of her haters will be haters and jealousy is ugly this why I hate you people and everybody like you being a critic is not a talent go by another box of Twinkies and leave Miss Brightman alone T Whitsell.

Anonymous said...

Emmy Rossum was way better at the phantom of the opera than Sarah brightman!!!!!! Emmy's voice was so beautiful and it really bothers me when people say Sarah was better!!!!!

Madeleine said...

I agree that she is very talented. I mean, everyone has different opinions. But when I listen to her, I just find myself cringing. I love the original cast of the Phantom of the Opera, but I just don't know. Something about her voice just makes me want to curl up in a ball and cover my ears. Still, I'm a huge fan of the Phantom and she will always be one of my favorite Christines since she was a muse for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Without her, we might not even have the Phantom. But, still, her voice just bothers me.

Just my opinion~

Anonymous said...

I think she is wonderful....Love how she makes the cross over between pop and opera..and for bringing some beauty to the ugly music world these days.

Rebecca McNaughten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Wow! I think all the hate is uncalled for. If you do not know her how can you judge her personally? She may have her own reasons, maybe defensive, to comment on her father. Maybe the day she was in Barnes and Noble she was having a bad day, you know we all have those. You can judge her voice which I find beautiful and heartfelt but that's my opinion. There is enough hate in this world, i.e. Paris, that someone should not hate just because maybe there is something else that you have an issue with. I met her and she seemed very thankful to all her fans. If you take the time to create a Blog on how bad you hate Sarah Brightman maybe it's you that should look at your inner self? I know I don't have that kind of time. Use you time better to help people not hate.

Claude Vanlalhruaia said...

Wow! Even after admitting that you don't know her personally you have this much issue with her so much so that you need to write down and post it! Ans seeing your writing I can pretty much assume that there aren't many things that makes you happy. Grow up and cast away that narrow self-importance attitude of yours, it hinders so much of your potential as a human being.

Every artists who sing a song that is not their original knows the importance of being able to transcend the song in a way that they can call it their own and marked their essence into the songs. This is a marked of a true artist and one that is hard to attain. I consider Sarah to b e one of them. She's able to performed in a way that when she performed you don't need to listen to the original in that moment, you just listen to her and let her tell you a story that is both engaging and emotional.


I don't know much about about her personal life myself nor when she's having a bad day. But, I know that she too is a human being with lots of flaws and lots of mistake and, just as I can't be a pleasant and happy smiling person each and everyday to everyone I can't expect her to be.

A wise men think twice before he made a conclusion but the wisest of them all continue to think even after he made a conclusion. Don't be too quick to judge it'll make your life too miserable.

Anonymous said...

That's not the part of her singing that irks me. It's that her placement is awful. Seriously, I feel pain in my nose and throat just LISTENING to her.