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Review: Rufus Wainwright releases live album and works on first opera

Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den


Rufus Wainwright just finished a thirty-one show tour which saw him performing in Europe and North America. Now, he is back in New York and as he rests his voice post-tour, he is waiting to see his first opera, [[Prima Donna]], come to completion as pledges keep coming through the official funding pledge.

Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den
Universal Music Enterprises/ Artists Den

'We are about to embark on an exciting project which will fulfill a powerful desire of mine – to properly record my first opera, Prima Donna with a fabulous orchestra and release a double CD and vinyl of that recording. I would love for you to be a part of this journey as we move through the process and create a magnificent product. Prima Donna, was written and performed during the most dramatic period of my life to date, and considering my life, that’s pretty dramatic! New arrivals, death, terrible defeat and glorious triumph line the tale of this work both on stage and off, a tale that is still unfolding and that I would both like you to know and even more importantly, be a part of'.

Last month he released Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright and Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den. On the live album insert it reads 'Resplendent in tails and golf sequined pants, Rufus Wainwright delivered an unforgettable show at Manhattan's magnificent Church of the AScension. Wainwright's set explored his wide-ranging catalogue, paying emotional tribute to his late mother, Kate McGarrigle, and closing with the rousing, disco-flavored "Bitter Tears"'.

He started the set which was recorded May 17th, 2012 and shown on PBS, with "Candles". Then followed with "Rashida". The drumming and percussion-heavy introduction was greeted by the audience's approval.

"Song of You" was soft and melancholic, and followed by the mid-tempo and upbeat "Barbara". The energetic and rhythmic flow was kept as he played "Welcome to the Ball".

"The One You Love" was a stern and moody performance and followed it by another vocal powerhouse, "Respectable Drive". "Jericho" was perfect background music which was followed by "Out of the Game".

"One Man Guy" was a reflective, morose and great vocal performance with two other musicians. "Going to a Town" was percussion-driven with a palpable and dramatic ending.

"Montauk" is a sweet and interesting story of a child coming back to his two fathers, and he performed this with gusto. "14th Street" is an easy-jazzy rendition of the track. "The Art Teacher" was performed beautifully as a piano ballad. "On My way to Town" had Rufus at his story-telling best. And "Bitter Tears" was a fun way to finish the set. "BT" has Mark Ronson, who produced it, playing guitar.

The release contains five songs which did not air on PBS. It is available as a CD, digital download and Blu-Ray disc, which includes 50 minutes of bonus footage.

Other reviews:

Films: Kumu Hina (documentary) : Southern Baptist Sissies, the movie : OFIR (documentary) : Ne Te Retourne Pas (short) : Halina (short) : EK (short) : Despite The Gods (documentary) : Materica (short) : Lawrence and Hollowman, the movie : No Strangers (documentary) : Meth Head, the movie : Echoes (short) : Titans of Newark (short) : A Cure (short) : Precious, the movie : This Is It (documentary)

Music: Lily Allen's Sheezus : Ingrid Michaelson's Lights Out : Kelis' Food : The Sounds' Weekend : Austra's Olympia : KENN's We Killed KENN : VV Brown's Samson & Delilah : Sammy Crawford's Reality Sets In : Melanie C's Stages : Madonna's MDNA : Nelly Furtado's Spirit Indestructible : CocoRosie's "We Are On Fire" : Stephan Nance's A Troubled Piece of Fruit

Videos: Christina Aguilera's "Your Body" : Tom Goss' "It's All Over" : Eric Himan's "Dust" : Scissor Sisters' "Only The Horses"

Concerts: Ellie Goulding : The Sounds with Blondfire & Strange Talk : Natasha Bedingfield : Andy Grammer : Kate Voegele

Stand Up: Kevin J Thornton

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