Sting and Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra in Vilnius

  • 2010-08-04
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

GRAND MASTER: Sting during rehearsal with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

VILNIUS - On July 13, Sting and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra released the album Symphonicities. Now Sting, with this orchestra, is touring the world to promote this new album, which consists of his songs’ covers with a symphonic flavor. The tour started in Vancouver on June 2. Later, Sting and the royal musicians went on a series of successful concerts in the United States and Canada. Sting’s European route is as follows: Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Saint Petersburg, Moscow and the Siemens Arena in Vilnius. This time, Sting will not go to Riga, according to the SEVEN Live company which is organizing his concert in Vilnius on Sept. 17 – so, brothers and sisters in Latvia, welcome to Lithuania.

This time no standing room tickets will be for sale. Out of 9,000 tickets for the concert in the Siemens Arena, more than two-thirds are already sold out. Tickets can be bought via
Sting is popular in Lithuania. During Sting’s previous visit in Vilnius, all 11,000 tickets were sold out in several weeks.
Sting will arrive with the 45 person-strong Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. It plays lighter classics than its associative, strictly classical Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Britain’s national orchestra).

Sting is 59 years old now. He has received 16 Grammy Awards during his career. He was born as Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner in the family of a hairdresser and milkman (with an education in engineering) in Wallsend, northeast England. Sting got his nickname after he performed wearing a black and yellow sweater with hoop-stripes while on stage with the Phoenix Jazzmen. He looked like a wasp in that sweater.

From 1977-1983, Sting was a member of the very successful band, The Police. Before joining the band, he was a schoolteacher for two years and it shows in the songs – they are quite intellectual and some critics even find some influence of works by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung in them. Probably the most famous song by Sting is Roxanne, which speaks about love for a prostitute. He got inspiration to write it when in 1977, he observed sex workers standing near his hotel in Paris. The song’s hero is somewhat uncomfortable with the choice of profession by his beloved Roxanne due to his jealousy of other men. During Sting’s wedding party, The Police made one of its rare reunions to sing, among other songs, Roxanne. The choice was maybe suitable taking into account that some thinkers describe marriage as just another form of prostitution, though the ex-policemen probably had no such deep philosophical thoughts. Another of Sting’s hits, known to everybody, of course, is Englishman in New York which has the potential be the anthem of all legal migrants – the line I don’t drink coffee I take tea my dear can be transformed to I don’t drink tea I take saltibarsciai (cold borscht) my dear in the head of a listener and it would already be Lithuanian in London.

In 1983, playing in Shea Stadium in New York, Sting understood that The Police reached its peak and it would be impossible for the band to play even better. Then he decided to start his solo career, which turned out to be a really great one.
The solo career was full of experiments, such as concerts with Luciano Pavarotti, and a record of a French-language song in duet with Charles Aznavour. Sting also had a couple of roles in movies. He had a role in Guy Ritchie’s movie Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels - the only good movie directed by Ritchie (his not so bad RocknRolla is just an echo of this one). Sting is the godfather of Rocco, the son of Ritchie and Madonna. Sting and his wife are fans of tantric yoga and organic food. They are known as eco warriors (a kind of must to modern divas) trying to save the rainforests. The fact that Sting is touring the world with symphony-style covers of his own songs could mean that his creativity is coming to an end – so, hurry to get a chance to see him live.