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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 May, 2004, 10:43 GMT 11:43 UK
Sting to perform at Sage opening
Sting will perform alongside the Northern Sinfonia
Pop superstar Sting is returning to Tyneside to celebrate the opening of a multi-million pound music complex.

The former Police singer will sing alongside the Northern Sinfonia as a high-wire walker crosses the River Tyne.

The event will be one of the first major showcases for the multi-million pound Sage music centre.

The £70m music centre, which features a unique glass tiled roof, is due to open its doors later this year.

A spokeswoman for the Sage said: "Sting and Northern Sinfonia are to perform the traditional classic 'Waters of Tyne'.

"It has been specially arranged by composer David Lang, and will be performed when high wire artist Philippe Petit crosses the Tyne gorge to the upper façade of the Sage in June 2005.

"Lighting for this spectacular event will be designed by Tony Award-winners Fisher Dachs Associates."

Sage Gateshead
The Sage cost £70m to build

Tyneside-born Sting said: "It's really exciting for me to know that this spectacular building will enable visiting musicians to experience this vibrant area.

"I know how important music is to young people and I am delighted that many more of them will have the opportunity to develop their knowledge, skills and interest in all kinds of music.

"It will be really extraordinary to perform at this spectacular event to celebrate the opening of the Sage."

David Lang has been specially commissioned to arrange the traditional North East folk tune for orchestra.

In the past he has worked with the Santa Fe Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony and the BBC Proms.

He said: "This is a really powerful project, with strong and varied collaborators from very different backgrounds.

"What I am particularly excited about is that a community should define music as central to its future, and then make such a beautiful building for that music to take place.

"It's an act of faith. You have to cross the river to find your future - or your love, or your self. That's where the music I am writing begins."



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