04.21.10 Sting says his upcoming symphonic tour is ''basically going after the fun'' in making music...


"I'm having the time of my life," the Police man tells Billboard.com about his summer trek with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, which begins June 2 in Vancouver and crosses North America through July, including a pair of shows at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. "The arrangements are fun. The orchestra's having fun, and I"m sure the audience will, too."

Sting says he and Royal Philharmonic Maestro Steven Mercurio are currently sorting through versions of 40 of his Police and solo songs that were "farmed out" to veteran arrangers such as Rob Mathes, Dave Hartley, Vince Mendoza and Michel Legrand, among others. "I've always said a good song will survive almost anything," he says, "and some of these things were ripped off wholesale from classical music, anyway." Sting - who was inspired to do the tour after performing with orchestras in Chicago and Philadelphia - says he's been pleased to find that the repertoire is living up to that expectation, from Sergei Prokofiev-influenced "Russians" to a rendition of the Police's "Next to You" that he says "sounds amazing... really fun and really rocking, and it was a total surprise to me.

"One of my things was I didn't want the orchestra just sitting behind me sawing whole notes on a pop ballad," adds Sting, who will also have a core quartet on the road and plans to play some guitar and harmonica "if I can work up the courage" during the shows. "That is deadly boring to me and probably deadly boring to them and the audience. I wanted the orchestra to be a very important rhythmic element to the music, and so the music would be challenging them rhythmically, if not technically. All the arrangements have that in mind. I want the orchestra to work really hard, and they enjoy that."

Sting plans to record and film "some landmark shows" during the tour, possibly for future release. He's also hoping the tour will "inspire" some new songwriting, though he's also working on a musical that he says is "way in the future" and plans to do some holiday concerts featuring the music of his 2009 album "If On a Winter's Night..."

Sting is also preparing for his May 13 benefit concert for he and wife Trudie Styler's Rainforest Fund, with Lady Gaga, Sir Elton John and Dame Shirley Bassey schedule to perform. "Everybody's titled," notes Sting, adding that he's "the lowest on the rank because I'm only a Commander (of the British Empire). But it's going to be a nice show, a good show. We just choose the most disparate elements in popular music and try to weld them together and see what happens...and (Lady Gaga) is game for everything. She's the biggest star in the world at the moment, and she's having fun, which is really what it's about."

© Billboard by Gary Graff

We are pleased to announce new shows in Holmdel, NJ (July 7) and Wantagh, NY (July 27) to the forthcoming "An Evening With Sting featuring The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra Conducted By Steven Mercurio" tour, presented by Xerox. These dates complete the North American tour schedule. The two newly announced concert dates will be available for presale to Fan Club members beginning this Saturday, April 24. Legacy members will have a one hour advance window when presales open at 10AM (local time) with the presales then open to all members at 11AM (local time)...
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We have 50 pairs of VIP passes to give away to fifty lucky Sting.com members - this is your chance to get close to the action for this special event! Please note that winners will need to arrive at the plaza around 5AM and will need valid photo ID to gain entry. For details of how to get your name in our draw for VIP passes members should log into the Community Area and visit the Contests message board...
"I'm driven by my curiosity," says the Grammy winner. "I like to take risks. I don't want to keep doing the same thing again and again. I'd be totally bored to do that." Sting is hitting the road all over the United States this summer, performing his greatest hits re-imagined for symphonic arrangement in such locations as The Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan, The Hollywood Bowl in L.A., Red Rocks in Colorado and Ravinia in Chicago. Selections will include such fan-favorites as "Roxanne," "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic," "Englishman in New York," "Fragile" and "Desert Rose."
The Metropolitan Opera in association with Live Nation announced today that Sting, accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, will make his debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on July 13 & 14, 2010, at 8pm. Sting's engagement at this legendary opera house is part of his world tour, during which he will perform his most celebrated songs re-imagined for symphonic arrangement. The Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra will be conducted by Maestro Steven Mercurio (Pavarotti, Bocelli)...