CHURCH'S CD A REAL 'DREAM'.
Charlotte Church already had a niche audience, but that niche has widened to a chasm this month with her third CD, ``Dream a Dream.''
The 14-year-old spritelike soprano from Cardiff, Wales, has maintained the No. 1 spot on Billboard's holiday albums chart for three weeks in a row. It's selling better than 'N Sync's ``Home for Christmas,'' better than ``Platinum Christmas'' featuring Britney Spears and other pop stars of the moment, even better than that Grinch movie soundtrack.
Its success must please the young star, who says her traditional sound has no apparent following among her peers in the United Kingdom. However, she's sure she has some teen-age fans in the United States.
``In America the teen-agers ... are much more open to me, plus I've been on the MTV Awards,'' she said during a recent stopover in Los Angeles.
``We've had a lot of people my age and a bit older and a bit younger saying they listen to rap and hip-hop and dance and whatever, but they bought my CD because they were fascinated by my voice and they thought it was something different - and they felt they were being a bit arty,'' she said with a laugh.
Since Sony Classical put out her debut recording, ``Voice of an Angel,'' in 1998, critics have found seraphic comparisons irresistible. Church prefers to think of herself as a mere mortal with a certain talent for singing.
Of course a Christmas CD carries that angel theme forward, with such standards as ``Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,'' ``What Child Is This?'' and ``O Come, All Ye Faithful'' invoking the image in their lyrics.
Now Church is hinting it could be time to shed those wings, at least to a degree.
``Next year I'm going to mess around with my voice and see what I can do and maybe shift directions in my music,'' Church said.
``But I'm not doing that to go, 'Well, I want to be the next Britney Spears, I want to be Christina Aguilera,' '' she added with a breathy coo, ``because that's not me. I don't want to particularly be the midrifaring sex kitten. It's not my image, it's just not me at all. I want to experiment with different types of music because I'm only 14.''
She had wanted to break out of her mold on ``Dream a Dream'' by throwing in a rendition of John Lennon's ``Happy Xmas (War Is Over),'' but Sony Classical nixed the idea, telling Church the ballad would grab the attention away from the artist. Church said she agreed with that argument.
She spends about seven or eight months of the year traveling, and passes the long flights by reading and rereading her beloved Harry Potter books, as well as the complete works of Plato.
That's Church's own reading selection, by the way, not a teacher's assignment. She's preparing herself for studies in philosophy and ancient history. Ask her what she sees herself doing 20 years from now and she goes on about adventurous travel to the hearts of ancient cultures in Africa, Asia and the Amazon.
Musically, she's less certain. ``I definitely want to continue in the performing arts, whether it's acting or stage shows or still recording, but I'm not really sure what's going to be happening then at all.''
Don't look for her center stage at the Met in wig and costume, however. ``I don't want to do opera,'' she said decisively.
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|Title Annotation:||L.A. Life|
|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Dec 27, 2000|
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