A magnificent voice from an artist who refuses to be labelled.
Vocalist, songwriter, and composer Rufus Wainwright studied opera – for about ten minutes. The story has it he was wearing clogs to his very first lesson.
– The clogs need to go, his music teacher told him, so Rufus took his clogs and left and never returned.
The Canadian-American artist’s insistence on being allowed to always be himself is evident in his musical CV. Elton John has named him the best songwriter on the planet, and the extent of his production – from pure pop songs to operas – is somewhat absurd. Among his many studio and live recordings we find the legendary tribute and recreation of Judy Garland’s 1961 Carnegie Hall concert and a special Shakespeare album that was released last year. His music is often labelled popera or chamber pop, and the utterly diverse artist is also the musical creator of the opening performance, Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Wainwright’s warm and rich voice and playful musicality have brought along collaborations with a great number of artists, among them Burt Bacharach, David Byrne, and Robbie Williams. Anne Sofie von Otter and the string quartet Brooklyn Rider will also appear on stage in Grieghallen and perform, among other numbers, a version of Go Leave, written by Wainwright’s mother Kate McGarrigle.
Rufus Wainwright vocal, piano, guitar
Anne Sofie von Otter mezzo-soprano
Johnny Gandelsman violin
Colin Jacobsen violin
Nicholas Cords viola
Michael Nicolas cello
Johan Graden piano
Sponsored by DNB
A Meeting with Rufus Wainwright
Litteraturhuset Sunday 28 May at 16:00–17:00