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British singer Sarah Brightman to travel to space on Soyuz in 2015

British singer Sarah Brightman to travel to space on Soyuz in 2015
Photo credit: Jiazi/Wikicommons

11 June 2014
Text Nadia Beard

British singer Sarah Brightman has confirmed plans to travel to the International Space Station on board Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft next year in order to fulfill her dream to become the first professional musician to sing from space. Brightman, a classically trained soprano known for her starring role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Phantom of the Opera, will spend more than $52 million for the trip, which will be the eighth privately-financed voyage into space. The singer started her space training at the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Centre near Moscow last year, with her initial announcement of space-bound travel plans in 2012 confirmed only yesterday at a press conference in the Russian capital.

As a UNESCO Artist for Peace — a programme which appoints international celebrities to advocate for the UN agency — Brightman plans to use her trip into space to inspire young women, promote empowerment and encourage sustainability among the global community. “I’m hoping I can connect with all sorts of students, children, or anyone that wants to live vicariously through me while I’m up at the international space station,” she said.

The singer’s hopes of becoming the first musician to perform in space are rumoured to face competition from Lady Gaga, who announced her own plans last year to become the first professional singer to perform in space traveling on a Virgin Galactic flight early next year.

Following her appearance in a number of well-known musicals, Brightman has helped to popularise the classical crossover genre, with her duet with Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli Time To Say Goodbye becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.