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Thursday 14 December 2017

Sarah Brightman's gruelling practice for space

Sarah Brightman
Sarah Brightman

Opera singer Sarah Brightman has revealed she is training 16 hours a day as part of her mission to perform in space.

The English-born soprano is enduring the gruelling regime, which includes four hours a day of Russian lessons, at Star City, the top space training facility in Moscow Oblast.

"It's like conducting an orchestra or performing a show," she said. "It may seem a strange analogy but it's the only analogy I have.

"If you are conducting an orchestra you can't just understand a bit of it and a few notes here and there. You have to understand the whole thing from A to Z."

Failure is not an option for Brightman, who is tested once a week by Star City's top brass in a verbal exam.

"It terrifies me. I haven't been tested on things since I was a schoolgirl," she said.

"To be in front of a group of people explaining what happens on a Soyuz control panel or explain the life support system alarms - it's pretty scary."

The Cats and Phantom of the Opera star said Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield has emailed her tips on singing in space.

challenges

Hadfield became a viral sensation in 2013 after performing David Bowie's Space Oddity from the International Space Station.

Brightman said her training as a dancer and singer left her well prepared for the physical challenges of living in space.

"I feel sort of trained for it just because of what I do in my life," she said.

"People in Britain maybe don't know what I have been doing for the last 20 years, but I have had a pretty full-on career all over the world.

"That's what I do. It's gruelling but I love it.

"I feel designed to do it and it works. Without it, I wouldn't function that well.

"I wish we had more of a lifetime to get things done, but we have the life that we do."

Brightman is expected to take part in a tourist flight to the International Space Station later this year.

The opera star has sold 30 million records globally.

hnews@herald.ie

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