By: PAULO SILVESTRE
ONE OF the most promising and original songwriters of recent times will return to Portugal for our listening pleasure. Rufus Wainwright is due to perform at Coliseu de Lisboa, on Tuesday (November 6), from 9pm to present his most recent album, Release the Stars.
This latest work is being hailed by critics as the best of his career. In the week of its launch in May, 24,000 copies were sold in the United States and 30,000 in the UK. Release the Stars has solidified Rufus Wainwright’s status as an icon of North American music.
He was born in Rhinebeck, New York, on July 22, 1973. His parents divorced when he was a child and he lived with his mother in Montreal, Canada, for the most of his youth. He then attended the Millbrook high school in upstate New York, which later inspired his song Millbrook.
He studied classical and modern piano at Concordia and McGill Universities and began playing regularly on the music scene. His song, I’m A-Runnin, performed in the movie Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, gave him a nomination for Best Original Song at 1989 Genie Award. He was also nominated for a Most Promising Male Vocalist of the Year at 1990 Juno Award.
Wainwright became interested in opera during his adolescent years which strongly influenced his music. During this time, he also became interested in Édith Piaf, Al Jolson and Judy Garland.
Wainwright’s work is based on opera, literature, pop culture, politics, homosexuality and love providing the underlying theme for many of his songs in various and dissimilar forms. His music is also based on love and the consequences of falling out of love.
Visit the artist’s site at www.rufuswainwright.com or www.myspace.com/rufuswainwright