On May 21, the city of Saint Petersburg, Russia begins its annual two-month-long Stars of the White Nights Festival, which will feature more than 90 opera, ballet, symphonic, chamber, and solo performances by major international artists. Also coming up: Stones in Exile, a new documentary about The Rolling Stones, is set to air on television worldwide.
Rolling Stones' 'Stones in Exile' TV premiere
The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St. is set to be reissued with ten previously unheard tracks. Accompanying a super deluxe edition is the documentary Stones in Exile, a 90-minute documentary produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker John Battsek and directed by Stephen Kijak. The documentary features rare, never-before-seen archival film, photos, and interviews, as well as conversations with the band and artists they've influenced. That documentary is also set to air on TV - on May 18 in the US on NBC, on May 23 in the UK on BBC2, and internationally through subsequent airings via BBC Worldwide.
Stars of the White Nights
May 21 - July 21
Saint Petersburg, Russia
For two months, Saint Petersburg will host the 18th Stars of the White Nights Music Festival, held annually during the season of the midnight sun. The festival will present more than 90 operas, ballets, symphonic and chamber concerts, and solo performances. Ensembles include the Seoul Philharmonic led by Myung Whun-Chung, Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony led by Gustavo Dudamel, Moscow Soloists, Polish National Ballet, and Vienna Philharmonic, while soloists include sopranos Nathalie Dessay and Maria Guleghina, violinists Nikolaj Znaider and Leonidas Kavakos, pianists Yundi Li and Hélène Grimaud, and actor John Malkovich. Because of high demand, tickets often sell out weeks or months in advance.
Sting begins international orchestra tour
Sting will embark on a world tour this summer with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, beginning in early June with more than three dozen shows in the US and Canada, followed by yet-to-be-announced performances in the UK and continental Europe. The tour will see Sting perform his best-known songs in orchestra arrangement, including Police songs and music from the artist's solo career: Sting has won 16 Grammy Awards and sold nearly 100 million records worldwide. He has explored classical music crossovers with his albums Songs from the Labyrinth (2006) and If On A Winter's Night... (2009), and has also collaborated with the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
'U2360° At The Rose Bowl'
As U2's epic 360° Tour continues, the band is set to release At The Rose Bowl, documenting a performance in Pasadena, California that took place on October 25, 2009, as part of that tour. The performance was the band's biggest show of 2009 and U2's biggest-ever US show, the concert was also streamed via YouTube, pulling in more than 10 million views in one week. In addition to a standard DVD format, U2360° At The Rose Bowl will be available as a 2-disc deluxe edition and on Blu-ray; the deluxe format and Blu-ray will include a new documentary called Squaring the Circle: Creating U2360°.
Rock in Rio Madrid
June 4-6, 11, 14
The Rock in Rio music festival was first held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in January 1985, and now takes place in both Lisbon, Portugal and Madrid, Spain. The festival's first Madrid edition in 2008 was attended by 290,000 music fans. Artists on the 2010 roster include Rage Against the Machine, Cypress Hill, Shakira, Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Bon Jovi, and Metallica. Concerts are staged over two weekends at Rock City in Aranda del Rey, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) outside Madrid.
Christina Aguilera's 'Bionic'
Five-time Grammy winner Christina Aguilera is set to release her first studio album since 2006's Back to Basics, which went platinum in more than a dozen countries and earned a Grammy Award for Best Pop Female Vocal Performance. Bionic features the single "Not Myself Tonight," a ballad titled "Lift Me Up" produced and written by Linda Perry, and songs co-written by Aguilera and collaborations with Sia, Tricky Stewart, Le Tigre, and Ladytron among others.
Manchester, Tennessee, USA
The top-grossing festival in North America, the Bonnaroo Festival brings nearly 90,000 people to Great Stage Park, a 700-acre (2.8 sq km) farm in Manchester, Tennessee. The 2010 festival will feature headliners Jay-Z, Kings of Leon, Stevie Wonder, and Dave Matthews, as well as dozens of other artists including The Flaming Lips, Weezer, Norah Jones, LCD Soundsystem, and The xx. Tickets are still available at $249.50, or $1,349.50 per pair with VIP benefits. In addition to dozens of performances, the festival features a 100-acre "entertainment village" with an arcade, cinema, silent disco, and comedy club.
The interactive ABBAWORLD exhibition devoted to the Swedish pop group and backed by the band is set to move on to Melbourne's Federation Square following its London run. ABBAWORLD includes music, footage, images, and memorabilia, plus a wide array of state-of-the-art interactive activities, and is expected to head to multiple cities. One item of memorabilia may be added to the exhibit for the Melbourne opening: Promoters have posted a $10,000 reward for a missing jumpsuit worn by Agnetha Fältskog during the band's 1977 Australian tour. Founded in 1970, ABBA has sold nearly 370 albums worldwide, making it the second best-selling band in history after The Beatles.