Sexy Singer/Songwriter and Composer Rufus Wainwright is in Seattle for one show tonight at The Moore. He talks about music, life, Björk and the upcoming album for his Opera, Prima Donna. This is going to be a great show. Don’t miss it! Get tickets here.
ED: How would you describe this show to someone thinking of attending for the first time?
RW: Well, it’s basically the essence of who I am. Meaning, I come from a long line of distinguished Singer/Songwriters, instrumentalist, and stage performers. One of the things that we have always done is to just be able to put the money where your mouth is and put on a good show by yourself. We prove that we can impress and entertain on an intimate level. It is kind of the meat and potatoes of what I have done over the years.
ED: What is your favorite part of the show?
RW: Sadly, I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite song but I am getting a lot of response and emotional reaction to “Going to a Town”. I think it is a reflection of the police situation in this country and recent happenings to the African-American community. Once again we are tired of these sorts of situations and we need to emotionally work through them.
ED: Are you performing any new and/or unreleased material?
RW: Yes, I do new things every once in a while. I don’t really plan it until the day of the show. I like to keep it pretty loose. I always have things up my sleeve. I perform a lot solo. I mean it is my job as a professional musician. I am aware that if I went up every night and did the same songs I would be in trouble with my boss [the audience]. I try to vary it as much as I can.
ED: How does it feel that the album for your Opera Prima Donna is already funded at 104% of goal?
RW: I am really excited about it. We are going to record it in January in London with the BBC Orchestra. I am incredibly excited and also humbled at the love and support that we have received from the public in terms of granting us this opportunity to record this album.
ED: What prompted you to compose and Opera?
RW: I have been a fan of Opera since I was quite young probably about thirteen years old. I experienced this very dramatic conversion to the Operatic form. Everything about it spoke to me; the drama, the history, the over the topness, the excitement and even the sadness. I fell for it all hook line and sinker. I also knew at the same that I wanted to be a Pop star. I wanted to hang out with the cool kids at the bar. That wasn’t necessarily an Operatic lifestyle. I have kind of borrowed from the Operatic form for years and so now I am kind of paying them back.
ED: How did you arrive at the name Prima Donna?
RW: Well, it came from an interview with Maria Callas from the seventies. At a certain part of the interview she says that ‘that is what it is to be the Prima Donna, the first woman.’ She kind of lists the criteria.
ED: You have collaborated with an interesting array of people. Who has been the most fun?
RW: The most fun was having Burt Bacharach accompany me on the piano. That was really exciting. I am a huge fan. I am a Burt Bacharach fanatic. Having him play the piano for me while we performed some of his material was a dream come true. I have also had some great times in Seattle performing and hanging out with Ann and Nance Wilson from Heart. They are good friends and certainly a barrel of laughs.
ED: Is there anyone that you haven’t collaborated with that is on your wish list?
RW: I have always wanted to do something with Björk. I have been putting that message out there for about fifteen years now and I haven’t heard a reply so I should probably give it up.
ED: What sort of music do you enjoy in your down time?
RW: I listen to Opera mostly. I also listen to a lot of my family’s music. You know that all of my family members are performers as well.