Sarah Brightman's Prima Donna Past
Ironically, though she's best known as Andrew Lloyd Webber
's ex-wife and the onetime star of Phantom of the Opera
, singer Sarah Brightman
, 40, has an aversion to musicals. "Although people think of me as a musical theater artist, I've never particularly liked music from musicals I don't get that satisfied with it," she admits on Bravo Profiles
, airing tonight at 10 pm/ET.
Currently planning a 65-city U.S. tour for her latest album, La Luna, Brightman proudly defies pigeonholing. (Her ethereal music, often dubbed "Classical Crossover," falls somewhere between pop and light opera.) The songbird's willful demeanor apparently first sprouted up during her girlhood. "Sarah was a little princess," says the diva's charming English mum, Paula Ferneyhough. Confesses Brightman: "I was always in charge, I suppose. I think everybody was aware that I would run things the way that I needed things to be done."
"She wasn't horrid or anything," Ferneyhough adds somewhat unconvincingly, then wryly concedes: "Well, maybe a little to her second sister..."
Brightman, it turns out, is the reluctant eldest of six kids. "She really didn't like the family," laughs her mum. "Many, many times she said to her father and myself, 'I don't know why you had any more [children]. No, we would've been so happy, the three of us!'"
Brightman's opinionated mother recalls first taking serious note of her daughter's talent at a school performance she did at 12. "Sarah was just beginning to blossom as a girl and not looking her best," Ferneyhough muses. "Her school uniform was really tight and her hair was all stringy and she looked all teeth and... you know, a difficult time. She sang something from Alice in Wonderland and I thought I was going to die with pleasure. It was so beautiful. I knew then that she had to sing."