The Independent [London] - 13 April 2004

Elvis Costello achieved fame in the vanguard of the British new wave movement before critically acclaimed experiments in country, jazz and classical music earned him a worldwide reputation.
As he prepares to turn 50 this year, Costello will again demonstrate the breadth of his range by releasing his first full-length orchestral work, Il Sogno, based on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, in September. He is also recording a rock album, with the working title "South," in Memphis, Tennessee and Oxford, Mississippi, with his band the Imposters.
The rock album is being produced on the Lost Highway label, and the classical work by Deutsche Grammophon, both part of the record giant Universal Music. Costello wrote the score for Il Sogno for the Italian ballet company Aterballetto in 2000 and the piece was recorded at the Abbey Road studios in London in April 2002, with the London Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
In July, he is recording a number of orchestrated songs live at the North Sea jazz festival in the Hague in Holland, which will also appear on the classical album. The bespectacled singer, real name Declan McManus, has a long tradition of switching between musical genres; he recorded a country album, Almost Blue, in 1981. He has also collaborated with the Brodsky Quartet and the singer Anne Sofie von Otter.
His last album, "North," a collection of love songs, was inspired by the Canadian jazz singer Diana Krall, whom he married last December in a ceremony at Sir Elton John's home attended by 150 guests including Sir Paul McCartney.
Costello, born in London in 1954, moved to Merseyside as a child, where his father was a singer and trumpet player. He made his musical debut as a folk singer and formed a band called Flip, which broke up in 1975. In 1977 he had a hit with "Watching the Detectives" with the Attractions, before reaching No. 1 in the US charts with "Oliver's Army".

By Ciar Byrne (C) 2004 The Independent - London. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved


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