Sunday, July 08, 2012

Opera composer sings pop songs on opera stage

Rufus sings a capella totally alone
It finished very, very well with a couple of numbers a capella. But it started rough. Didn't get right into it. Having performed the night before at another festival in another country might be reasons tabled. Mr Wainright couldn't even really talk at the beginning - all uhms and aahs and sentences restarted. It augured not well. 

There were two songs for his fiance, Jorn Weisbrodt, the worst songs of the evening. The first was a rickety ole thing in a tired and tiring 12/8. The second was no better and fortunately segued into another number so we didn't have to not applaud. Only about a quarter, maybe a third of the numbers were familiar to me. 

It was wonderful to hear Going to a Town live. And dedicated to Mit Romney! It was wonderful to hear his voice not only live, but older. Not nearly as reedy. It's matured very well. And he has an active range of over two octaves without resorting to falsetto. It was wonderful to hear him sing songs by his parents. And numbers dedicated to his daughter (sic) about which I know nothing and have neither time nor interest in pursuing. Probably safe to say, see Wikipedia. But the family thing did get a bit much. Even the musical director, playing bass, is the brother-in-law. 

 If you do visit him in Wikipedia, at the time of writing you'll find 20 refs to opera. A queer fish.

And it was wonderful to hear other solo singers - both of the backing vocalists and the lead guitarist had solos. They were all outstanding, and better voices than RW. Technically.

It was silly to flop, bog and fop his hair around. It was like, this is what we do to show how much we're in to doing what we're doing. It so didn't work.

His references to Vienna were glorious. Anecdotes about his trips to Vienna, things he'd seen live on the very stage on which he was performing, and as if he'd read my mind, he really wasn't sure that a pop singer in jazz festival on an opera stage was going to work.

It did. Can you see the roar of the crowd. We loved it.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know that Rufus Wainwright had a daughter, which led me to: I didn't know that Leonard Cohen had a daughter. Which is sort of great, the not knowing in general. I am always dead curious to know everything about artists, know how the public is informed by the private, etc., but I prefer that it be kept to their choices, that their fame be conveyed as little as possible upon their children.