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Wainwright, Rufus (b. 1973)  
page: 1  2  

Although the majority of the songs on the album deal with personal life and love--or the lack of it--the album's first single release, "Going to a Town," takes a step into the political arena, expressing Wainwright's dissatisfaction with the social and political direction of his adopted country, the United States.

Wainwright's opera, Prima Donna, about a former diva dreaming of a comeback, was first performed in Manchester, England in 2009. It was also presented in London, Melbourne, and Toronto before its American premiere during the 2012 season of the New York City Opera.

Reviewer Zachary Woolfe of the New York Times described Prima Donna as "an attempt to make the sweeping lyricism of Gounod and Puccini sing to us in a fresh way" but complained that it "is so busy being an homage that it has forgotten to be an opera," and he found the plot wanting.

In 2012 Wainwright released the album Out of the Game, which is more in the pop vein than his previous works but which, while it does not reflect all of the diverse styles that have informed his music, is nevertheless intensely personal, addressing three milestone events in his life.

The final song, "Candles," lays bare his grief over the loss of his mother, who died in 2010.

"Montauk," on the other hand, celebrates the arrival of his daughter, Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen, born in February 2011 to Lorca Cohen, the daughter of Canadian singer and songwriter Leonard Cohen. Wainwright and Cohen have joint custody of the child, but in "Montauk" Wainwright sang to her about "your dad . . . and your other dad."

The "other dad" in the parenting partnership was Weisbrot, now the artistic director of the Luminato Festival. Two of the tracks on the album--"Respectable Dive" and "Song of You"--address the couple's relationship.

Wainwright and Weisbrot became engaged in 2010 and were married on August 23, 2012 in Montauk, Long Island, where the couple live. Wainwright's sister, Martha Wainwright, was among the musicians performing at the ceremony.

Other family members were also present for the joyous occasion, as were friends including Alan Cumming, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon, Antony Hegarty (of Antony and the Johnsons), and Carrie Fisher.

Linda Rapp

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Dunlevy, T'cha. "Crisis Focuses Wainwright." Montreal Gazette (May 16, 2007): E6.

Empire, Kitty. "Nowt Queer as Folk: Raffish of Look and Forthright of Speech, Singer Rufus Wainwright Tells Kitty Empire about the Legacy of His Famous Parents, a Past Penchant for Crystal Meth and His Self-Inflicted 'Gay Hell.'" The Observer (London) (October 12, 2003): Review pages, p. 3.

Ganahl, Jane. "From Rehab to a New Album, He's Walked through Fire and Come out Singing." San Francisco Chronicle (January 9, 2004): D1.

Holden, Stephen. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Conjuring Judy Garland." New York Times (June 15, 2006).

Jones, Anderson. "Romantic for Rufus."

Linker, Damon. "Rufus Wainwright Wants a Hit." Newsweek 1159.18 (April 30, 2012): 58.

Mitchell, Rick. "Wainwright Propelled by Offbeat Melodies." The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario) (April 7, 1999): E8.

Nudd, Tim, and Kristin Boehm. "Rufus Wainwright Weds Jorn Weisbrot." People (August 24, 2012):,,20623459,00.html.

Orlov, Piotr. "Shining Son; Rufus Wainwright Is on the Verge of Greatness--And He Knows It." Miami New Times (May 2, 2002): Music section.

Patterson, Rob. "Strings Attached." Houston Press (March 11, 2004): Music section.

Powers, Ann. "Embracing Gay Identity with Candor and Pride." New York Times (July 1, 2001): Sec. 2, p. 24.

Wainwright, Rufus.

Walters, Barry. "Review of Want Two." Rolling Stone (December 15, 2004):

Woolfe, Zachary. "A Diva Haunted by Fame and Failure." New York Times (February 21, 2012): C1.


    Citation Information
    Author: Rapp, Linda  
    Entry Title: Wainwright, Rufus  
    General Editor: Claude J. Summers  
    Publication Name: glbtq: An Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual,
Transgender, and Queer Culture
    Publication Date: 2004  
    Date Last Updated August 31, 2012  
    Web Address  
    Publisher glbtq, Inc.
1130 West Adams
Chicago, IL   60607
    Today's Date  
    Encyclopedia Copyright: © 2002-2006, glbtq, Inc.  
    Entry Copyright © 2004, glbtq, inc.  


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