Symphony orchestra to back Wham! singer for autumn dates in London
GEORGE MICHAEL is to play both the Royal Albert Hall and the Royal Opera House in his upcoming European tour, which is to feature a full symphony orchestra.
Billed as The Symphonica: The Orchestral European Tour, Michael's road trip starts in the autumn at the Albert Hall for four nights (25, 26, 28 and 29 October) and continues well into 2012. The ROH show, a for-charity event, is on 6 November.
"The idea of singing with symphonic orchestras is because I heard Tony Bennett had done it recently, and I thought, 'What a nice idea.'" said Michael at the Royal Opera House yesterday.
"Singing with this kind of backing has been very attractive to me for a long time."
There is also an album on the way, which Michael is to dedicate to "gay young kids" who he feels have been adversely affected by some of his drug-related antics.
"Every time I made a big mistake or let myself down, I felt I was letting gay young kids down because they would then witness the homophobia that was thrown at me," said Michael.
"I like to think that life is a balance so I have some plans to try and do things to help gay children.
"I felt it was really what I want to do as an artist. As an artist I'm at the stage where I'm not interested or excited by repeating former successes."
To beef up the gay-theme, Michael is to share the musician duties on the album with "either gay or gay-friendly artists".
"It will be a gay collective on which some of the records are sung by myself, some by other artists, possibly unknown ones, but there will be collaborations with a lot of artists," he said.
Those George Michael UK Tour Dates in Full:
Royal Albert Hall - 25, 26, 28, 29 October
Dublin O2 Arena - 1 November
Royal Opera House - 6 November
Liverpool Echo Arena - 30 November
Sheffield Motorpoint Arena - 2 December
Newcastle Telewest Arena - 3 December
Glasgow SECC - 6 December
Birmingham LG Arena - 9 December
Manchester MEN Arena - 12 December
Tickets go on sale next Monday, 16 May at 9am.