British singer Sting, currently touring Canada, is releasing a new album this September and aims to have a musical on Broadway by 2014.
The Last Ship, set for release Sept. 24, is Sting's first full-length album of original material in 10 years. It grew out of a musical of the same name that the former Police frontman has been writing, based on his memories of growing up near Wallsend, U.K.
Sting wrote about his recollections of the shipbuilding industry on his website.
"My early memories are of the Swan Hunters shipyard at the end of the street, where some of the largest ships ever built were constructed; the imposing presence of ships, towering over the roofs of the terraced houses we lived in, represented a very potent symbolism for me," he wrote.
"I watched thousands of men walk down our street every day on their way to work on these mighty ships. My great-great-grandfather was a master mariner, one of my grandfathers was a North Sea pilot, another was a shipwright and my father served his time as an engineer."
Sting, whose real name is Gordon Sumner, has also been working on a stage musical version of The Last Ship with Skyfall writer John Logan and playwright Brian Yorkey for the past three years. Set during the decline of the shipbuilding industry in Britain during the 1980s, the production explores themes of homecoming and self-discovery.
The musical will be directed by Joe Mantello (Wicked) and is expected to debut in New York in 2014.
Album features musical's songs
The album The Last Ship will contain several songs that will be used in the forthcoming musical, as well as a few others Sting decided not to include in the stage production. His publicist says the title track is a folky tune sung in a North England dialect. Another song is titled And Yet, a funk number sung from the perspective of a sailor returning home.
Since his last studio album, 2003's Sacred Love, Sting has released a greatest-hits compilation, an album of Renaissance-era lute music and a symphonic album based his tour with the London Philharmonic, for which they performed orchestral arrangements of his music. The latter tour stopped in many Canadian cities.
Sting is currently on his Back to Bass tour, which has already passed through Victoria and Kelowna, B.C. Upcoming dates include Summerside, P.E.I., St. John’s, Kingston, Ont. and Kitchener, Ont. in June.