Rufus Wainwright Debuts Opera, Performs Symphonic Versions Of ‘April Fools’, ‘Vibrate’ At Montreal Jazz Fest

We have good news and we have bad news. The bad news is that we are halfway through the 2016 edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival (yes, we’re “glass half-empty” people). The good news is that the festival’s first week welcomed home Rufus Wainwright in what can only be described as an audio-visual tour de force.

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In amongst the Montreal-raised troubadour’s Judy Garland paean, his musical contribution to Shakespeare’s sonnets, and his numerous pop albums is yet another eclectic project: his own opera, Prima Donna.

Wainwright told the Montreal Gazette, “I’m really excited that (festival cofounder) André Ménard and the jazz fest have come to bat for me. … André Ménard has always championed both me and my family over the years. He’s not afraid to take risks and force his audiences to go on new adventures. I think we’re kindred spirits in that way. He’s a wonderful man and this is a great festival. They’ve been very good to me.”

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Combining visual effects, a trio of opera singers, and an orchestra against the backdrop of a new Francesco Vezzoli film, Rufus Wainwright unveiled to the Montreal audience his most audacious work yet. Fans were then treated to symphonic interpretations of some of the artist’s classic tracks, including “April Fools” and “Vibrate”.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the show.

The Montreal Jazz Festival continues through to July 9. Visit the official site for more information.


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