Sting's decision to front an orchestra instead of a rock band in Australia is an inspired one.
The Symphonicity Tour, hitting South Australia on Wednesday, sees the singer songwriter re-imagining three decades of his music in exciting new ways.
Symphonicity is billed as one of the must-see concerts of the year by the New York Post and it features symphonic arrangements conducted by Steven Mercurio.
The opening concert at a Perth winery at the weekend featured Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.
And from the first bars of 'If I Ever Lose My Faith In You' it was apparent this was going to be genuine collaboration, not just a restless rocker decorating his radio hits with strings.
'Roxanne', reset as a slow ballet, floated serenely on silky strings. There was a jaunty clarinet swagger to 'Englishman in New York'.
And 'Russians' - bristling with intensity - got an icy blast of brass. 'When We Dance' was exquisite with cellos drawing out its slow waltz rhythm.
But 'King Of Pain' delivered the knock-out punch.
The MSO attacked it with a combination of beauty and power while Sting - in exceptional voice - made a rolled gold classic sound as if it had been written yesterday.
Sting said he enjoys coming to Australia: "There is something of the British culture here that we have in common so it doesn't feel so foreign to me.
"I am looking forward to performing in Australia, having a whole new palate of musical colours to work with and reinventing the songs that have been the staples of my live shows for over 30 years."
Barossa Under the Stars is a world-class musical event in Tanunda, which in the past has hosted rockers and crooners.
Symphonicity is at Barossa Under the Stars on Wednesday night
© The Advertiser by Simon Plant