Sarah Brightman is on tour with her 12th album “Hymn.” (Courtesy Simon Fowler)

Space mission scrubbed, Sarah Brightman starts anew

After over four decades in show business, British soprano and trailblazing pop-classical crossover artist Sarah Brightman is setting her sights on feel-good projects to counter the negativity in the world.

“I feel like I’m at the beginning of my career again,” says the singer, who comes to town this weekend promoting her latest album, “Hymn,” a collection of choir-rousing spirituals, and a glittery new jewelry line featuring Swarovski crystals.

“You spend so much time in life waiting for the next thing that you miss the moment. If you can only focus on that moment, you can really accomplish things,” says Brightman, who planned a highly publicized trip to the International Space Station that never happened.

Citing force majeure, Brightman bailed on the Space Adventures-organized Soyuz rocket junket last-minute, although she passed qualifying tests and training and spent a great deal of time in Star City outside of Moscow preparing with the country’s top cosmonauts.

“It was very tough, that training. That was the very first hurdle to get over. But I’d worked a lot in Russia before, both as an artist and as a ballerina, and I’d trained as a ballerina since I was a child. So I wasn’t unfamiliar with the Russian system,” says Brightman.

Throughout her long career, Brightman, 58, has explored almost every creative frontier.

She started in 1978 with her disco combo Hot Gossip, which had the hit “I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper,” then spent the early ‘80s hanging with a virtual Who’s Who of London post-punk celebrities, courtesy of her first husband, Tangerine Dream manager Andrew Graham-Stewart.

She got a theater role in “Cats,” where she met, and eventually married, impresario Andrew Lloyd Webber, who cast her in his hit musicals including the blockbuster “The Phantom of the Opera.”

She left the stage (and her mentor) and — aided by Enigma’s Frank Peterson — then conceived her water-themed 1993 solo disc “Dive,” developing a unique sound that would sell more than 35 million albums and 2 million DVDs.

So it was no surprise when Brightman chose to explore space, the final frontier, by booking a 10-day, self-funded trip to the International Space Station, where she planned to perform an interstellar routine she reportedly was scripting with Webber as well as draw from her galaxy-inspired 2013 album “Dreamchaser.”

Increasingly fascinated with the gravity of Russia’s attitude toward space exploration, she says of the endeavor, “I learned a huge amount about myself in doing this, and although I didn’t get there this time, it certainly wasn’t a negative experience.”

Sarah Brightman
Where: Masonic Auditorium, 1111 California St., S.F.
When: 8 p.m. March 9
Tickets: $68 to $253
Contact: (415) 776-7457,
Note: Brightman also appears at 8 p.m. March 13 at City National Civic, 135 San Carlos St., San Jose.

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