There’s no denying the musicianship and warm, vocal brilliance of Sting.
This year, Sting joined forces with superstar conductor Steven Mercurio and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra to record a new studio album called ‘Symphonicities’. The album is full of the songs that Sting is most well known for, but arranged for the huge sound that only a 70+ person orchestra can bring. Plenty of famous musicians have been down this path before but the end result generally just sounds like they’re singing their regular old hits along to a big band plus strings. Nothing wrong with that of course – it can sound really beautiful and there is possibly no greater thrill for a singer to have this experience. But on ‘Symphonicities’, it’s the clever, inspired arrangements that have made this album a truly unique listen. The arrangements are technically brilliant, breathing new life and colour into songs that most people have heard a billion times before, but still managing to honour the original hit. These are tracks like Roxanne, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, King Of Pain, Fields Of Gold, and more, all re-imagined for symphonic arrangement.
Featuring special guest and jazz legend, Branford Marsalis, on select tracks, Sting is also joined by a group of accomplished musicians comprised of Dominic Miller (Sting’s longtime guitarist), Rhani Krija (Sting’s longtime multi-genre percussionist), David Cossin (a multi-percussion specialist in new and experimental music and featured member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars), Jo Lawry (a gorgeous, young vocalist from Australia – in fact, we both studied at the conservatorium in Adelaide!) and Ira Coleman (bassist).
And the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra are hardly lacking in credentials either – they’ve previously performed with internationally renowned artists ranging from opera luminaries Andrea Bocelli, Bryn Terfel, Ren Fleming, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, and the late Luciano Pavarotti to popular cultural icons like Burt Bacharach, George Benson, Diana Krall and Tina Turner.
Not long after the launch of the album, Sting and orchestra hit the road on a worldwide tour. In September, a live concert was recorded at the O2 Arena. ‘Live in Berlin’ was directed and produced by the Emmy-award winning team, Jim Gable and Ann Kim in association with Universal Music Classical Management & Productions and Executive Produced by Chris Roberts and Sting’s long-time manager, Kathryn Schenker.
‘Live in Berlin’captures Sting, for the first time, on the acclaimed Symphonicity world tour, which had already begun to receive rave reviews from sold-out performances in venues like Red Rocks in Denver, the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
“The real stars of the show were the arrangements: classical twists on classic hits that make Symphonicity a must-see.“ – Globe and Mail (Toronto)
“Pairing Sting with the orchestra is brilliant synchronicity on multiple levels. He’s a consummate showman and a willful storyteller.” – The Denver Post
“This is one of the must-see concerts of the year.” – The New York Post
Very exciting news for Antipodeans, the Symphonicities tour is heading down under, kicking off in Perth on January 22. For this Australian / New Zealand tour, Symphonicity will feature the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in Perth, the Barossa Valley and Melbourne, the Sydney Symphony in Sydney, Brisbane and Hunter Valley and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performing in Christchurch and Napier, NZ.
Selections, created especially for this tour, will include fan-favourites such as The Police hits Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, Roxanne, Next To You and Every Breath You Take, to notable songs from Sting’s enduring solo career – Englishman In New York, Fragile, Russians, If I Ever Lose My Faith In You, Fields Of Gold, and Desert Rose.
Tickets are still available in most cities, so jump on it!