Sting: A Winter’s Night...
Preview of the Concert

Composer, singer, actor, activist – Sting has won universal acclaim in all of these roles, but he defies easy labeling. He’s best described as an adventurer and risk-taker. As he himself has said, “I love to put myself in new situations. I’m not afraid to be a beginner.” Recorded on location at the magnificent Durham Cathedral near his hometown of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in northern England, “Sting: A Winter’s Night…” conjures the moods and spirits of the season with a diverse collection of songs, carols and lullabies spanning the centuries. Also featured are some new songs, as well as Sting’s interpretation of classical favorites. “I’d say if I have a spirituality at all, it’s about music,” confesses Sting. “Sting: A Winter’s Night…” will broadcast on THIRTEEN’s Great Performances series in HD on Thanksgiving night, Thursday, November 26 at 9 p.m. EST (check local listings).

Watch a preview of the concert:

“Sting: A Winter’s Night…” captures the artist in the evocative setting of one of England’s most famous cathedrals. Standing on a peninsula overlooking the River Wear in County Durham, the 1,000 year-old UNESCO world heritage building is an iconic landmark of Northern England. Inside, the architecture and atmosphere are equally as inspiring, and it is in this setting that Sting is joined by guest musicians, including local Newcastle artists Kathryn Tickell (Northumbrian pipes and fiddle), Peter Tickell (fiddle) and Julian Sutton (Melodeon). Esteemed performers from around the world also include Dominic Miller (guitar), Vincent Ségal (cello), Scottish harpist Mary MacMaster, Ira Coleman (bass), Chris Gecker (trumpet), David Mansfield (violin and mandolin), Cyro Baptista, Bashiri Johnson and Rhani Krija (percussion), and vocalists Laila Biali, Lisa Fischer, Jo Lawry and Steven Santoro. Producer Robert Sadin conducts an ensemble of 35 musicians, which includes additional string and brass sections.

Featuring traditional music of the British Isles as its starting point, Sting and guest musicians interpret stirring, folk-based melodies including “The Snow it Melts the Soonest” (traditional Newcastle ballad), “Soul Cake” (traditional English “begging” song), “Christmas at Sea” (traditional Scottish song), “Gabriel’s Message” (14th century carol), “Balulalow” (lullaby by Peter Warlock) and “Now Winter Comes Slowly” (Henry Purcell). Two of Sting’s own compositions are also featured: “Lullaby for an Anxious Child” and “The Hounds of Winter,” which originally appeared on his previous release Mercury Falling. “Winter is a season I’ve always had an affinity for,” says Sting. “It’s certainly rich in terms of inspiration and materials.”

Born a milkman’s son in Newcastle, England, Sting met Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers, who formed The Police in 1977. The band quickly became a success in both the U.S. and the UK, scoring several No. 1 hits including Roxanne, Every Breath you Take, King of Pain and Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic. The Police earned five Grammy Awards and two Brits, and in 2003, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. With the release of Dream of the Blue Turtles in 1985, followed by Bring on the Night, Nothing Like the Sun, The Soul Cages, Ten Summoner’s Tales, Mercury Falling, Brand New Day, All This Time, Sacred Love and Songs from the Labyrinth, Sting has evolved into one of the world’s most distinctive and highly-respected solo performers, collecting an additional 11 Grammy Awards, two Brits, a Golden Globe, an Emmy, three Oscar nominations, Billboard Magazine’s Century Award and MusiCares Person of the Year for 2004.

A production of Graying & Balding, Inc., in association with Universal Music Classical Management & Productions (UMCMP) and THIRTEEN for WNET.ORG, the production is directed by the Emmy Award-winning team Jim Gable and Ann Kim. A DVD of the program will be released November 24 on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring additional performances and behind-the-scenes footage documenting the concert’s genesis.

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS.

Photograph for video thumbnail by Tony Molina.

  • Daryl Yearwood

    What is wrong with the Sting broadcast? The sound is overdriven and everyting has a nasty buzz! I expected more. The preview is clean, but the broadcast is aweful! I’m in Knoxville, TN and I’m almost afraid it is the local station. Really disappointing!!

  • Mary Johnson

    Found the music both interesting and entertaining. It was not overtly sentimental holiday but rather a variety of appropriate seasonal songs. Very Well Done.

  • molly

    Sound is bad in Mi, too.

  • Homer

    Sound quality is terrible in Ohio. It’s unwatchable, terrible, disappointing. Really getting tired of the loudness wars and lack of audio quality.

  • Alice

    The concert sound is distorted – too bad.

  • Alice

    I wish I could have watched this, but sadly the distortion buzz on the sound track was unbearable. I had to turn it off. (in Montana)

  • CAROLYN

    AWESOME….. WANT THE CD

  • Chris

    We lost the ‘digital’ broadcast signal about halfway through! But the concert was excellent (that part we heard)!

  • pam Fairbanks

    Moving. Beautiful!

  • chris cooley

    I was about to buy the DVD, but we had the same sound popping. Does the DVD have the same problems? If it does, no way am I buying it.
    Tough luck for PBS…superb content delivered awfully.

  • Steve Barnes

    The inconsistent assessments from the different locations may reveal local station problems – beautifully clear in Birmingham, Alabama. Outstanding both in sound, sight and the content.

  • betty hayes

    please advise if and when Sting [a winters night}will be broadcast in Canada

  • Wendy Martyna

    The DVD is magnificent — perfect sound.
    The TV show wasn’t on as listed in my
    area (they repeated Pete Seeger’s concert instead).
    Any idea when it will be shown in S.F. Bay area?

  • Wendy Martyna

    Correction – I meant the CD (I don’t have the DVD).
    The CD is a work of art. Extraordinary. Each track
    is a testimony to Sting’s blessed perfectionism.

  • Alice

    I hope it is re-broadcast in Montana with the sound corrected! I really did want to see this concert. For the states of TN, OH, MI and MT all to have broadcasts with distorted sound is unfortunate.

  • Jacie

    Cyro Baptista, so nice to see you too! See you in T-burg in July. The sound quality is terrific from Syracuse WCNY.

  • Michel Léger

    I live in Montréal, will it be broadcast again ?

    Michel

  • Theodora Prude

    I also want to know if this program will be broadcast again. I missed it completely and I really would love to see it. Tjanks. Peace…

  • Betsy Thompson

    I too would like to know if this program will be broadcast again? The sound quality was fair in VA, but we had to adjust the volumn control on our TV to make it sound half way decent.

  • Yvonne Garza

    I´m in Monterrey, MEXICO and just watch the concert it´s wonderfull, I love it , great music and setting, I wonder if I can order the DVD from here…..I love PBS concerts .

  • Jennifer Lunn

    As a huge fan of Sting’s always impeccably conceived and beautifully delivered musical ideas,I was terribly disappointed that this program was not carried into Canada on WGBH Boston – though I see it was seen in Mexico…

  • Jill

    I live in Minnesota… does anyone know of what time and day this was on. The info I found said Thursday, Nov 26 but couldn’t find it. I was so bummed and hope it will re-air. I was lucky enough to have met Sting not once…but TWICE! :)

  • Mary Bushee

    I watch the broadcast and the sound was bad, but really enjoy Sting. The program was so beautiful and moving. i what to buy the DVD, does anyone know if the sound is better before I buy as a gift?

  • howear bobby shafto

    The concert as transmitted on WKNO (11/27) & WLJT were received without any problems in West Tennessee. The sound problems I heard were solely due to the recording balances being badly lined up, too low for some instruments (pipes, harp etc) bearing in mind the acoustics of the cathedral.

    Otherwise , no problems

  • John

    Anyone know how I can find out the names of the musicians playing with him?
    Particularly the guys on bass and lute, and the women backup singers?

  • joAnn

    Can it get any better than that..I think not. Thank you.

  • Kelly Jennings

    Unbelievably beautiful! Thank you very much.

  • Marty Quinn

    The sound was also distorted at times during the broadcast tonight in Lee, NH. I think it was from the bass guitar, or a mic with a bad battery. It is odd to have not been corrected prior to broadcast. What happened? It really detracted from part of the program. Otherwise, it was fabulous. Where were the credits for the musicians? I didn’t see any there or here on the web!

  • Anne

    The sound was so terrible I had to turn it off. Sad, because I was so thrilled to have happened upon the special. They really did the music and Sting a disservice, and I can’t believe that PBS let this go to air with these issues. Couldn’t they have fixed this in the editing before broadcast?

  • Cher

    TV sound here in Toronto Canada on Christmas Eve is amazingly clear and wonderful. No buzzing or distortion. Picture was clear as well.

  • Barb

    Christmas Eve broadcast is superb (State of WA). How odd the previous broadcasts had problems.

  • Armando Rodrigues

    Maravilhoso, adorei o concerto (Sting: A Winter’s Night…). Melhor coisa que aconteceu no meu Natal.

    The DVD is magnificent — perfect sound.
    Beautiful. Fantastic.

  • Glenda Carroll

    When is the next broadcast? When it first aired, I saw the last 15 min. I looked up the schedule for next showing and everytime I tuned in, another program was on.

  • Liz Watkins

    We had buzzing, popping and distorted sound in Texas. I changed to our new TV and could hear it better. I really enjoy Sting and all PBS concerts and thought this one was superb but I was definitely annoyed by the quality of the sound. I look forward to seeing it again.

  • Rosemary Malaher

    I was in Durham Cathedral the week of the taping. The preparations were elaborate and engulfed the huge cathedral. Then I forgot about the broadcast! I have to get the DVD, and would love to see a repeat on KCTS.

  • aldo jadige

    el trabajo fue excelente en la grabación no se paresia ninguna distorcion me gustaria saber si se puede subtitular el documento , ya que el trabajo salio con dos dvd uno es el recital en la catedral y el otro el documento , lo quisiera subtitulado el dvd no lo trajo me parese que la discografia ahi se equivoca

Produced by THIRTEEN    ©2014 Educational Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.