LONDON — After a stellar career ranging from the disco hit "I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper" to global success in "Phantom of the Opera," British soprano Sarah Brightman is preparing for a live concert from space.
Brightman, 54, will be the eighth space tourist, and first professional singer, traveling as one of a three-person team to the International Space Station in a Soyuz capsule that's due for a Sept. 1 launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. She will spend 10 days orbiting the Earth.
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"I cannot explain in full why this is something that has been very strong within me," Brightman said Tuesday at a press launch event for her trip. "I am incredibly excited and as I have said, sometimes overwhelmed, but I am finding all sorts of things about myself."
Brightman is said to have paid $53 million for the trip, but on Tuesday she said that for contractual reasons she could not confirm the amount. She has already gone through rounds of testing and training at Russia's Star City cosmonaut complex.
She plans to perform a song from the space station, accompanied by an orchestra back on Earth, but has not yet selected the tune. She has been working with ex-husband Andrew Lloyd Webber, the composer of multiple hit musicals including "Phantom of the Opera" which made Brightman a global star. "I'm trying to find a piece which is beautiful and simple in its message, as well as not too complicated to sing," she said. "Because of the complexities of this, I don't want to promise too much."