George Michael to go on tour
Published 11/05/2011 | 14:42
George Michael is to go on tour again nearly three years after he said he would quit live performance - this time accompanied by a symphony orchestra.
The singer announced a 47-date tour of Europe starting in Prague's State Opera House in August.
Symphonica - The Orchestral Tour will include 12 dates in the UK at venues including the Royal Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as dates in Cardiff, Liverpool, Sheffield, Newcastle, Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester.
Speaking at a news conference at the Royal Opera House in London, the former Wham! star said he intended to record a new album during breaks in the tour.
"I felt very re-energised after my recent troubles, I felt it was really what I want to do as an artist," he said. As an artist, I think I have said before that I am really not interested or excited by repeating former successes."
The singer said the last date - April 29 2012 at the Palais Garnier in Paris - would probably "kick off" the second leg of the tour, covering "other areas of the world".
An orchestra will accompany the singer at each location, organisers announced.
The singer said he had been inspired to perform with an orchestra by veteran singer Tony Bennett.
Asked about his difficulties in recent times - he spent a month in prison last year for drug driving - the singer paid tribute to the support of his fans, saying: "I was fairly overwhelmed by their support over the last 10 months. It should not surprise me because I have an amazing, amazing group of fans."
A statement about the tour said: "He will perform not only a carefully chosen selection of his songs, spanning all his remarkable, near-30-year career, but he will cover some of his favourite songs from other artists. This new classical setting will give each song added layers and new nuances. It's unmistakeably George Michael, but not as we've ever known him."