(GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.) – Folk-pop singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright brings his “Best of” tour to the Mahaiwe on Saturday, May 9, 2015, at 8pm. Wainwright is widely regarded as one of the best songwriters of his generation by his fellow musicians, critics, and audiences alike, and in addition to seven albums of his own songs and film soundtracks, he has written a classical opera and set Shakespearean sonnets to music for a theater piece by Robert Wilson.
In addition to being a scion of the Wainwright and McGarrigle musical dynasties – his father is Loudon Wainwright III and his mother was the late Kate McGarrigle — he is also related in a sense to Leonard Cohen, as the father of Cohen’s granddaughter, and sort of to Richard Thompson, through his close musical friendship and collaboration with Thompson’s son, Teddy.
Wainwright also has close ties to the region, having been born in Rhinebeck, N.Y., where he lived for the first three years of his life, and then returning to the area to attend the Millbrook School.
Mostly raised in Montreal by his mother after his parents split, Wainwright — the brother of Martha Wainwright — has achieved his success by carving out his own singular sound in the worlds of rock, opera, theater, dance, and film. He has released seven studio albums, three DVDs, and three live albums. He has also collaborated with a wide range of artists, including Elton John, David Byrne, Boy George, Joni Mitchell, Pet Shop Boys, Robbie Williams, and producer Mark Ronson, among others. His latest album, “Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright,” was released in 2014 on Universal.
In addition to being a celebrated contemporary pop singer, Wainwright has made a name for himself in the classical world. His much-acclaimed first opera, “Prima Donna,” premiered at the Manchester International Festival in 2009. The opera was subsequently performed in London at Sadler’s Wells, in Toronto at the Luminato Festival, and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House. Now fully established as a composer of operas, he has been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write his second opera based on the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinous. The new opera will premiere in Toronto in October 2018.
The Mahaiwe is located at 14 Castle Street in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Box office hours are Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 6:00pm and three hours before show times. For tickets and information, visit the Mahaiwe or call 413.528.0100.