Sarah Brightman Returns from Space Training for New Album and Tour: ‘I Needed to Earth Myself’

Sarah Brightman is making an astronomical landing with her fifteenth studio album Hymn.

After spending months in Russia training for a trip to outer space that she postponed in 2015, Brightman, 58, opened up to PEOPLE exclusively about the creation of her newest album and the planning stages of her tour.

“I needed to earth myself,” says the soprano singer. “I said I would like to do an album of songs which are full of light, full of hope. Songs that remind me of when I felt safe and familiar with things in my childhood when I sang in my church.”

“If I don’t use and I don’t convey my feelings through it, I feel depleted,” she added. “I don’t function very well and that’s the beauty of having a gift like a voice. You sort of know what to do. You know what direction to take, you know that you want to communicate through it.”

Brightman, who shot to fame after star-turning roles on Broadway musicals Cats and Phantom of the Opera, linked up with producer Frank Peterson for the album-creating process. What came out of two-and-a-half years of planning and recording was the dynamic, choir-filled album, Hymn, out on Nov. 9.

“ is about looking into the good in things because I do believe that good prevails always,” she said, adding that the word “positivity” would describe her album.

“I did experience huge amounts when I was in the space program that actually how precious everything really is on this beautiful planet and how precious that is,” she added.

Now, the “Time to Say Goodbye” vocalist is ready to take Hymn on the road later this fall for a tour that’s “going to be quite beautiful.”

“I have a lot of energy. I tend to before I go on these tours, I become more energetic,” she says. “You create a power for yourself which will protect you because when you go on tour you’re dealing with the hardship of jet lag and moving around continually.”

The “Angel of Music” singer says her set on tour will be divided into two halves. The first will feature a more retrospective aspect to Brightman’s music, which will look like “somebody who is going to the ballet or the opera.” The second will be a bit more modern and feature most of the songs off Hymn.

“I’m wearing all these amazing runway gowns, which I’ve made a little more theatrical by adding things to them. Stones, crystals, all sorts of stuff,” she says. “I’ve got a big choir behind me. Up really high. I’ve got an orchestra on one side, a band on the other side and myself in the middle.”

Brightman’s album is filled with collaborations with artists like French tenor Vincent Niclo on single “Sogni” and Japanese composer Yoshiki on the emotional “Miracle.”

“ is a really interesting guy and we got along very well,” she said. “It was a very interesting collaboration with Japan’s most famous rockstar writing a beautiful contemporary classical piece.”

Along with the collaborations, Brightman’s album jumps from classical and cinematic music to pop rhythms in a cohesive album threaded by its spiritual nature. The album also takes fans back to one of her most famous classics “Time to Say Goodbye” with Andrea Bocelli, which she recreates in a touching English rendition.

“I wrote the lyrics for it but they were very much inspired from the original Italian lyrics when translated,” she said. “It’s quite a grand song, it’s almost like an opera song, but I wanted to do this in a very intimate way.”

Fans can purchase tickets for “Hymn: Sarah Brightman in Concert” through her website.


PEOPLE.com

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