Sarah Brightman: Happy memories
PUBLISHED: 16:12 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 February 2013
Sarah Brightman talks to Pamela Spencer about the happiness of her Hertfordshire childhood and how it inspired her sensational stage career
INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed soprano, Sarah Brightman, was born an entertainer. From the tender age of three, she was dancing at festivals in the Hertfordshire market town of Berkhamsted, near the village of Northchurch where she was brought up.
'I was actually born in London at the University College Hospital in 1960. My parents at that time lived in Hampstead, but my father, a small property developer, decided to move us to Hertfordshire for business reasons, and to be near his family in Chesham,' Sarah explains.
'I spent a most happy childhood in Northchurch. Surrounded by cornfields, it was an excellent place in which to grow up during the 1960s. My father had built the six houses in the street (Bell Lane), where we lived, and my mother knew all the neighbours. Their children would come to play with me and my five siblings. It was an idyllic time.'
From an early age, Sarah loved to sing, and would often sing seated at her bedroom window, enjoying the beautiful view.
'We lived on one side of a valley, and on the other side was a fir forest, and a small, white, village-type house, always with smoke curling from its chimney.
At 21, Sarah starred in the original London cast of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Cats, and in 1986, Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera opened to massive acclaim in the West End, with Sarah starring in the central role of Christine.
Between 1997 and 2005, Sarah sold in excess of 25 million CDs, and 2 million DVDs, and she holds 150 platinum and gold discs. Today, in the course of her work, multi-millionairess Sarah travels the world, and last year did a tour of almost every developed country.
With success assured, the girl from Hertfordshire is at the top of her game. But the path to fame and fortune has not always been easy, and nobody knows better than Sarah the importance of a happy, contented childhood.
'I was especially lucky in having a happy childhood because I can call upon it when I need it. Often it has stood me in good stead when I've been travelling the world, and experiencing difficult circumstances.
From time to time, Sarah returns to Hertfordshire to visit a friend who lives in Aldbury and sometimes will drive to Little Gaddesden, where she lived with her parents for a while, when she was a teenager.
Article taken from June issue of Hertfordshire Life