To the Stars: Sarah Brightman – “Just Show Me How to Love You”

Continuing with the Time to Say Goodbye material is the “Just Show Me How to Love You” single. Sarah Brightman sings the song with José Cura.

As mentioned in my review of the album, the better of the two Cura pairings is actually “There for Me.” That said, “Just Show Me How to Love You” is a sweeping song in its own right.

It was written by Italian singer and composer Dario Baldan Bembo and Italian composer Amerigo Cassella, with German producer Frank Peterson and lyricist Laisa springing the English version to life.

The song, titled in Italian as “Tu Cosa Fai Stasera,” is a spiralling piece of work. Brightman and Cura match voices well and they’re good at following this musical conversation through to its logical fruition. They sound connected and the song sounds legitimate, operating both on the momentum of the classical score and the grandeur of the vocalists’ controlled but passionate performances.

Along with the album version of “Just Show Me How to Love You,” the single includes two live tracks.

The first is “O mio babinno caro.” Time to Say Goodbye includes a studio recording of this, but the single’s live version adds some extra dimension to the performance. The aria, written for a soprano, comes from the Giacomo Puccino opera Gianni Schicchi. The opera was Puccini’s only comedy and the aria is a tale of conflicted but steadfast love.

The second live track on the single is more interesting.

“Regnava nel silenzio” proves a veritable vocal workout for Brightman. She ventures down the stairs of her vocal range only to emerge with some blistering high notes and dazzling tones. The piece comes from Gaetano Donizetti’s 1835 opera Lucia di Lammermoor.

The aria in question is sung by the character Lucia, played by coloratura soprano Fanny Tacchinardi Persiani in the original run. It’s important to know that a coloratura soprano was vital to the opera scene because of her ability to venture through some truly “hilly” runs, for lack of a better word. Coloratura parts were written for all sorts of different voices.

In the case of “Regnava nel silenzio,” it’s apparent from Brightman’s version that a very lyrical voice was in mind for Donizetti’s aria. Brightman’s tones are agile, even nimble, and she crisply handles the calisthenics as well as the glass-shattering high notes. There are a number of other coloratura sopranos out there, like South Korea’s Sumi Jo, and a number of classic opera parts, like Marguerite in Faust, were written for the voice.

So what we have with the single’s live recording is Brightman testing the limits of her range. She’s sung these sorts of pieces before, but perhaps not to such an extent. The aria is over nine minutes long, for one thing, and it’s a live performance. If anything reveals that her voice is the real deal and can stand up to pressure, “Regnava nel silenzio” is the ticket.

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