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- Posted on May 11th 2011 12:30PM by Stephen Dowling
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The tour, which is called Symphonica, will begin at the State Opera House in the Czech capital Prague on Aug. 22 and end at the MEN Arena in Manchester on Dec. 12. One date already confirmed for next year -- Paris' Palais Garnier on April 29 -- may be the beginning of a second leg which could take Michael to countries outside of Europe.
The dates include four nights at the Royal Albert Hall in London in October and a charity fundraising date at the Royal Opera House in November. Different orchestras will be used across Europe.
"The idea of singing with symphonic orchestras around the world is because I heard Tony Bennett had done it recently, and I thought, 'What a nice idea,'" Michael said. "The idea of singing with this kind of backing has been very attractive to me for a long time."
Michael also announced he was working on a new album -- his first studio album since 2004's 'Patience' -- and that it would be a dance-influenced pop record that would feature a "collective" of gay artists. He said it would be "as far removed from the symphonic tour as can be imagined."
"As an artist I'm at the stage where I'm not interested or excited by repeating former successes," he added. The album is expected to be released some time next year.
The symphonic tour is Michael's follow-up to his 25 Live tour that started in 2006 and ran for three years. He said he had decided against another "greatest hits" tour but said he thought he still had another such trek in him for the future.
He also revealed the new album, which he has started work on already, was "far more true to myself in terms of lyrics." He said he had felt guilty that media coverage of his problems -- most recently, his jailing after crashing his car into a photo developers while high on cannabis -- created negative images of his sexuality and that it could harm young gay people.
As for the tour, Michael said he would include covers of artists who had influenced him -- artists not necessarily reflected in his own recorded output. Whether this includes Joy Division (Michael is an ardent, if unlikely, fan) remains to be seen.