Rufus Wainwright has announced that he will be taking to the Royal Opera House (ROH) stage in July 2011. Although the London venue has in the past played host to artists such as Björk, Elton John and Sting, Wainwright will be the first artist from the world of rock and pop to perform there for a week-long series of concerts.
The Canadian singer-songwriter’s residency, titled House of Rufus: 5 Nights of Velvet Glamour and Guilt, will run from 18- 23 July, and will see him joined on two nights by his sister Martha and father Loudon Wainwright III as he presents Rufus Does Judy, his tribute to Judy Garland.
Wainwright, whose own opera, Prima Donna, premiered at the Manchester International Festival last year, describes how he used to perceive the Royal Opera House as ‘a distant and implacable fortress’ when he was ‘this tiny, insignificant spectator. I have never lost that sense of awe with this establishment. But I am not going to be too reverent. We’ll have fun and enjoy the space.’
In turn, Royal Opera House chief executive Tony Hall says: ‘It’s important for us to present new and different opportunities for audiences to come and enjoy all that the Opera House has to offer and to make the most of our wonderful theatre.’