Rufus Wainwright Debuts Opera, Beard

Amrit Singh | July 13, 2009 - 12:57 pm

Even though Rufus Wainwright’s chased some muses that’ve pulled him off my playlist since the early triumphs of his debut through Want One (and especially Poses), I can’t help but love him for being a slave to that restless creative spirit, unabashedly crashing headlong into limitations (as when recreating Judy Garland’s classic Carnegie Hall concerts) and ambitions with shameless, prideful, extravagant aplomb. And even if I won’t ride for some of his choices, I’m always reading his press about them, because it’s rare to have a genuinely great songwriter be so amusing and endlessly quotable.

So anyway, as we’ve detailed, Rufus has finally completed his long discussed opera entitled, most appropriately, Prima Donna. It’s not an autobiography. The New York Times was meh about it in their review of its debut in Manchester (a piece titled, perhaps a bit more biographically, “The Diva Has Issues“). Maybe that’s not entirely surprising. But then, neither is the fact that BBC One’s documentary on the project — and Rufus’s performance of “Grey Gardens” and Q&A with Jonathan Ross — are worth a few minutes if you have ‘em. Also, he has a beard now. In the traditional sense.

And here’s the J. Ross stuff:

Part One:

Part Two: