September 29, 2009


A WINTER GATHERING: It is February 2009, a cold, relentless wind rattles doors and windows as it wraps itself round the old house that sits atop a Tuscan hillside. Surrounded by cypress trees standing against the wintry onslaught, the house has been my home and retreat for the last decade. In the summer, its elevation gives us some respite from the sizzling temperatures in nearby Florence, but in the winter we experience the implacable wind that descends from the North down the peninsula and across the exposed Tuscan hills...
September 29, 2009


It's a bizarre sort of ensemble, a kind of genre-busting supergroup. Distributed carefully about the stage in a smallish studio theatre are stars of theatre, opera, the recital hall and, in a random invasion from left field, the stadium. The assembled include Derek Jacobi on spoken voice, Simon Keenlyside on sung voice, Natalie Clein on cello and Iain Burnside on piano. And wandering in beardedly from the rock and roll hall of fame, that'll be none other than Sting. Plus his wife Trudie Styler...
September 29, 2009


Who the hell does Sting think he is? Singer, actor, activist. Not troubled by modesty. Sting, part of the furniture of British rock music for so very long now, doesn't like to do interviews these days, and would much rather never have to endure a photo shoot again. To talk to him about living the celebrity lifestyle he shares with film producer wife Trudie Styler, a woman more glamorous than your average 55-year-old, is little short of an insult to his art. Celebrity, you see, is something other people pursue, not he...
November 21, 2008


Sting with bite: Pay $600 to watch The Police? Many did earlier this year, and many will again - to hear its lead singer Sting go classical. Sting: actor, environment activist, tantric sex poster boy. It was not enough for the Englishman that he used to front The Police, which was among the biggest rock bands in the world. It was also apparently not enough for him that his subsequent solo music career encompassed jazz, opera and world music. Restless as the bumblebee which inspired his nickname, the man born Gordon Sumner will be performing classical music in a concert next month at the Esplanade Concert Hall. Not just your average contemporary classical compositions, but 400-year-old Elizabethan pieces from 'Song From The Labyrinth', his 2006 album with Bosnian lute player Edin Karamazov...
November 20, 2008


A night at the opera with Sting and Elvis: Sting and Costello have been rehearsing an opera. Veterans of the Seventies punk and new-wave movement, the two British stars have since established themselves among the most acclaimed and wide-ranging singer-songwriters in the world. But their new project promises to be something of a departure. From tomorrow, for five nights at the historic Théatre Du Chatelet in Paris, they make their debuts as operatic singers in the premiere of the extraordinary 'Welcome to the Voice...'
October 18, 2008


Sting finds lute after a fond farewell with The Police: Sting has an insatiable addiction to adulation. He has spent three decades touring the world and has just completed one of the biggest roadshows in rock history - this year's The Police reunion extravaganza - so the 57-year-old Brit could be forgiven for taking time out to relax at his Tuscan villa. Instead, Sting is on his way back to Australia for yet another tour, this time with his classical album, 'Songs From The Labyrinth'...
October 10, 2008


A Sting in the tale - Geordie superstar Sting celebrates the 30th anniversary of The Police's first album 'Outlandos D'Amour' this month and he also turns 57. Gordon Sumner's life changed for ever when fellow North East musician Gordon Solomon spotted his and yellow hooped sweater in 1973 and christened him Sting. As a solo musician and member of The Police, the lad from Wallsend has since sold over 100 million records and received more than 16 Grammy awards for his work. But it was back in the early Seventies that he forged his stagecraft at the coal face of performing - in the pubs and working men's clubs of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside...
October 04, 2008


The Landscape of My Dreams - How do you ask a friend to paint that? When you're Sting, you know exactly what to do and where to turn to: to the accomplished Stephen Hannock. Stephen Hannock is standing in a spacious studio in North Adams, Massachusetts, in front of an elaborate and exact charcoal drawing. The dimensions of the drawing are 8 feet by 12 feet (2.4 metres by 3.6 metres), and the drawing coming to life depicts the city of Newcastle, England. There distinctively bisecting the city is the River Tyne. There distinctively is the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, and there equally distinctively is Sir Norman Foster's recently constructed The Sage Gateshead concert and exhibition hall, the symbol of the ongoing renaissance of this capital of the northeast of England...