Soprano Sarah Brightman to honor Itaewon victims at Seoul Christmas concert

Sarah Brightman performs during her 2016 Seoul concert. The singer is set to return to Korea for “Sarah Brightman, A Christmas Symphony” which will take place at the KBS Arena Hall in Gangseo District, western Seoul, on Saturday at 7 p.m. [LIVE NATI

British soprano superstar Sarah Brightman, 62, said she will be dedicating a part of her Seoul Christmas concert to the victims of the Itaewon crush.

“For Korea, especially in light of the tragedy that happened there, I want to sing a beautiful piece from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s requiem mass called ‘Pie Jesu’ [1992]” said Brightman during an online press interview on Nov. 17. “My thoughts go out to all the families who have lost loved ones and the people themselves who have been injured.”

More then 150 people lost their lives in a crowd crush that occurred on the night of Oct. 29 in Itaewon in Yongsan District, central Seoul.

Brightman recognized that Christmas and the end of the year can be both a joyful and sad time and she incorporated those emotions into her upcoming concert, “Sarah Brightman, A Christmas Symphony.”

“I wanted to create a show that included everything we feel at this time of year [...] I do sing Christmas songs and some of my hits that the fans love to hear with an added Christmas flair, however, there is another side to Christmas which is a little bit more sorrowful as we remember the people we had lost.”

Brightman’s concert includes melancholic yet beautiful religious pieces like “Pie Jesu” along with her iconic hits such as “Nella Fantasia” (1998) and “Time To Say Goodbye” (1995).

Sarah Brightman performs during her 2016 Seoul concert. [LIVE NATION KOREA]

The concert, like any of Brightman's performances, promises to be a fantastic spectacle, with glamorous outfits in addition to some added technologies to raise the jolly Christmas spirit.

“There is fancy lighting and technical devices that let the set come alive, so with these new technologies, we have created something absolutely beautiful that just shouts ‘Christmas!’” Brightman said, adding, “though the human element is always the most important thing. We have an amazing choir, beautiful orchestra dotted around the stage and some wonderful guest singers, and myself of course!”

Brightman will perform alongside with local musical groups, the Korea Modern Philharmonic Orchestra and the Winner Opera Chorus.

Sarah Brightman performs during her 2016 Seoul concert. [LIVE NATION KOREA]

Prior to arriving in Seoul, Brightman has visited Mexico, the United States and Japan as part of her world tour. During her trip to Las Vegas in October, she was honored with the 2,736th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. After her concert in Seoul, Brightman is set to visit Singapore and Taiwan.

Brightman is a pioneer of the classical crossover music movement, which has recently become popular again in Korea, in part thanks to local television show “Phantom Singer” (2016-) on JTBC. She is the only artist to have simultaneously topped the Billboard dance and classical music charts.

She is also a musical theater star, making her debut in the West End musical production of “Cats” in 1981, then going on to star in several Broadway musicals, including the female lead Christine Daae in the megahit show “The Phantom of the Opera” in 1986. The original cast's soundtrack of the show sold over 40 million copies globally.

Sarah Brightman performs during her 2016 Seoul concert. [LIVE NATION KOREA]

As she wraps up her concerts in Osaka, Japan, she said that she is eager to come to Korea not only to meet her fans, but also to get her hands on some of the local dishes.

“One of the things that I do love about Korea, in addition to the busy wonderful feeling one gets in the city, is when you get into the countryside and go down to the coast and have a wonderful meal on sea there with fantastic seafood,” she said. “You get this contrasting feeling of a very fast-moving city and then the beautiful countryside, mountains and the hills along with the beaches. The food is incredible. There is so much variation and I particularly love seafood. Also, there is always the wonderful kimchi with many different kinds, Korean barbeque and the wonderful grilled meats. It is such a great country.”

The upcoming concert marks the singer’s first concert in Korea in six years. In the past she has visited several times to perform. She gave her first live show in 1997 when she came to Seoul for her tour titled “Timeless: An Evening With Sarah Brightman,” then subsequently in 2004, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2016.

“The lovely thing about Korea is that whenever I visit, something has changed — whether it be a building or a street or the vibe,” she said. “But most of all, the fans here have always been wonderful to me [...] They are very responsive and they have just enjoyed my music and keep coming to my concerts. That for me is a wonderful thing, as in my world, it is all about giving to people — Giving my soul and my voice and telling a story to people.”

“Sarah Brightman, A Christmas Symphony” takes place at KBS Arena Hall in Gangseo District, western Seoul, on Saturday at 7 p.m. Tickets range from 132,000 won ($101) to 165,000 won, and are available on