Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rufus Wainwright Tells Rolling Stone He's Ready For BAM

Rebecca Bottone (l) and Janis Kelly (r) in Prima Donna at the Manchester International Festival
You have have an opera, Prima Donna, that's about to open in New York.
Yeah, that’s premiering in February at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It's very, very exciting – it’s part of the New York City Opera season. The opera was supposed to be here years ago, and it had to kind of travel the world in order to return home. So it’s a homecoming of that work. Opera has always been kind of my ace in the hole. I was converted to the form when I was a teenager. So I always had that in the background. But I didn’t want to be a classic musician, necessarily. So I just sort of take those influences and infused them into my songwriting. But I knew, down the line, that I'd want to return back to that form, as sort of musical sacrifice for all the beauty that it’s given me over the years. I’ve hopefully done that with Prima Donna.

William Joyner and Janis Kelly
When did you know it was the right time to take on the opera? I'd been thinking of an idea for a long time. And I was actually expecting it to be a much later kind of conquest in my life. I thought maybe in my fifties or something. As it is with many theatrical endeavors, this story just fell in my lap – of the day in the life of an opera singer – and these characters just instantly, miraculously appeared in my imagination and needed to come to life. I think a lot of playwrights or opera writers – you’re sort of summoned by the work itself. It’s not really you that goes out looking for it. [Source]

(Photos: Clive Barda)

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