Sarah Brightman Announces Uplifting New Album 'Hymn,' Tour Dates

Sarah Brightman
Simon Fowler

Sarah Brightman

Sarah Brightman has the spirit, or at least spirituality, on her new album, Hymn, which comes out Nov. 9 with a world tour lined up to support it.

"I think at this time in my life, especially at this time when I think humankind is going through a really huge and profound transition -- especially with technology and all sorts of new things happening in our lives -- that's caused a lot of upheaval in the world," the award-winning soprano and actress tells Billboard. "There's a lot of confusion, and people sometimes don't know where to go. I wanted to sing something very familiar, something close, something that could be religious or spiritual. Those are things that make me feel centered. I feel like right now a lot of people are not feeling centered and don't quite who where they are or what's going to happen, so as an artist I went to a place where I feel centered, and this is what I ended up with."

Brightman says she was initially missing a sense of "mission" after her last studio release, 2013's Dreamcatcher. It was longtime producer Frank Peterson, who's guided eight of her 15 albums, who helped her hone in on the Hymn concept when they began discussions during 2016. "He called me and said, 'How are you feeling? Talk to me about stuff,' and I did," Brightman recalls. "He said, 'It really would be lovely to sing some pieces that are very uplifting, that are not dangerous in any way, something sort of about hope and future and all of these things.' So we got together and started working on different things, and we came up with this album, which was an absolute delight to work on." She also told Peterson that she "kept hearing choirs all the time in my head," which also led to the spiritual and hymn-like approach to the 12 tracks.

Brightman and Peterson recorded Hymn (pre-order here) at studios in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Vancouver, London, Hamburg and Budapest. They took the title track from British rock band Barclay James Harvest’s 1977 album Gone To Earth and recorded a new version of "Time to Say Goodbye," her 1996 duet with Andrea Bocelli, to close the album. Hymn also includes collaborations with Japanese artist Yoshiki ("Miracle"), German DJ Paul Kalkbrenner ("Sky and Sand"), French tenor Vincent Niclo and the Eric Whitacre singers ("Fly to Paradise"), while the London Symphony Orchestra appears on 11 of the songs. 

"You have to be very open-minded, often, when you're working on a lot of these pieces," Brightman says. "We worked for a long time, a lot of experimenting and lots of things that didn’t' work. But I'm really glad I've gone through with it. I'm really enjoying this (album)."

Brightman will take Hymn on the road starting Nov. 24 in Sao Paolo Brazil, touring South America, Mexico and Puerto Rico first, then kicking off in North America on Jan. 30 in Baltimore, with tickets going on sale at 10 a.m. local time on Sept. 21 (with a Sept. 18 pre-sale) and CD copies of Hymn coming with every pair of online tickets purchased. Austrian jewel maker Swarovski will be providing crystals for Brightman's costumes and tiaras, as well as for a line of merchandise that will accompany the tour.

"It's obviously going to have a lot of choir, lots of humans in this show," says Brightman, who has tabled her well-publicized plans to travel in space for the time being. "I had enough of energy screens on the last tour. This one is going to be very human, full of lots of musicians and beautiful lighting. We're figuring out everything that we’re doing now, and I'm very excited."

The track list for Hymn includes:

Hymn Overture
Sogni featuring Vincent Niclo
Sky And Sand
Canto Per Noi
Fly To Paradise featuring Eric Whitacre Singers
Gia Nel Seno (La Storia Di Lucrezia)
Follow Me
Better Is One Day
Tu Che M’hai Preso IL Cuor
Miracle (Sarah’s Version) featuring Yoshiki
Time To Say Goodbye?

Hymn: Sarah Brightman In Concert tour dates:

Nov. 24            São Paolo, Brazil                     Espaco das Americas

Nov. 25            São Paolo, Brazil                     Espaco das Americas

Nov. 27            Brasília, Brazil                         Ulysses Guimarães Convention Center

Nov. 29            Rio de Janeiro, Brazil              Vivo Rio

Dec. 1              Curitiba, Brazil                                    Teatro Guaira

Dec. 4              Lima, Peru                               Gran Teatro Nacional

Dec. 6              Montevideo, Uruguay             Antel Arena

Dec. 8              Buenos Aires, Argentina         Teatro Colon

Dec. 10            Buenos Aires, Argentina         Teatro Colon

Jan. 17             San Juan, Puerto Rico             Coliseo de Puerto Rico

Jan. 19             Monterrey, Mexico                 Arena Monterrey

Jan. 22             Guadalajara, Mexico              Auditorio Telmex

Jan. 24             Puebla, Mexico                       Auditorio Metropolitano

Jan. 26             Mexico City, Mexico               Arena Ciudad de Mexico                 Jan. 30             Baltimore, MD                                    Hippodrome Theatre

Feb. 1              Mashantucket, CT                   Foxwoods Resort Casino

Feb. 2              Atlantic City, NJ                       Tropicana AC
Feb. 3              Philadelphia, PA                      The Met Philadelphia

Feb. 5              Washington, DC                      DAR Constitution Hall

Feb. 6              New York, NY                          Radio City Music Hall

Feb. 7              Boston, MA                             Orpheum Theatre

Feb. 9              Montreal, QC                          Place Bell

Feb. 10                        Toronto, ON                            Sony Center

Feb. 12                        Pittsburgh, PA                         Benedum

Feb. 13                        Detroit, MI                              Fox Theatre

Feb. 14                        Chicago, IL                              Chicago Theatre

Feb. 16                        Greenville, SC                         Bon Secours Wellness Arena

Feb. 17                        Atlanta, GA                              Fox Theatre

Feb. 19                        St. Petersburg, FL                    Mahaffey Theater      

Feb. 20            Hollywood, FL                          Hard Rock Live at The Event Center

Feb. 21                        Orlando, FL                             Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts

Feb. 23                        Grand Prairie, TX                    Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House

Feb. 25                        Sugar Land, TX                                    Smart Financial Centre at Sugar Land

Feb. 27                        Phoenix, AZ                             Comerica Theatre*

Mar. 1             San Diego, CA                         Viejas Arena

Mar. 2             Anaheim, CA                           Honda Center

Mar. 3             Las Vegas, NV                         Smith Center PAC

Mar. 5             Denver, CO                             Paramount Theatre

Mar. 7             Salt Lake City, UT                    Abravenal Hall

Mar. 9             San Francisco, CA                    The Masonic*

Mar. 10           Los Angeles, CA                       Dolby Theatre

Mar. 13           San Jose, CA                            City National Civic

Mar. 15           Portland, OR                           Keller Auditorium

Mar. 16           Seattle, WA                             Paramount Theatre

Mar. 18           Vancouver, BC                                    Queen Elizabeth Theatre