Sarah Brightman performs in Tampa

October 3, 2013 

She was the biggest Broadway star of the 1980s, and the role of Christine in "The Phantom of the Opera was written especially for her.

But in the early '90s, Sarah Brightman turned her back on the theater and set off on a solo career. She went from being one of the biggest stars on Broadway to one of the biggest stars in the world.

She's sold some 30 million albums and has been credited with originating a genre of music -- the "classical crossover" style that gave us such performers as Jackie Evancho and Il Divo.

Brightman perform Sunday at the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

She was originally scheduled to appear at the Forum in February, but when the release date of "Dreamchaser," her 11th studio album, was pushed back to the spring of this year, Brightman postponed her entire North American tour.

Reports from earlier shows on the tour say it's full of spacy visuals and special effects, plus ballerinas who dance to Brightman's singing. The highlight, of course, is Brightman's beautiful voice offering pop versions of classical melodies.

Brightman first became a star on London's West End in a production of "Cats" where she met her future husband, Andrew Lloyd Webber. He wrote the lead part in "Phantom" for her, and caused a stir in the theater world when he refused to open the show on Broadway if she wasn't in the lead.

Details: 8 p.m. Oct. 6, Tampa Bay Times Forum, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. Tickets: $35-$250. Information: 813-301-2500, tampabaytimesforum.com.

-- Marty Clear

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