Rufus Wainwright Prima Donna is a Melbourne Festival co-commission...
According to a correspondent at the Rufus Wainwright message board, the Melbourne International Arts Festival is playing dumb, neither confirming nor denying MIAF's involvement. (Always a good sign when the response is "you'll have to wait for the official release of the program...")
And this from Radio Canada:
Prima Donna prendra également l'affiche du festival de Melbourne, en Australie, cet automne. D'ici là, Rufus Wainwright travaille sur une adaptation musicale des sonnets de Shakespeare, qui sera présentée en première à Berlin, en avril.
Got that? En Australie, cet automne! (Northern 'automne' of course!)
After the jump, the Globe and Mail article...
The debut opera from Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright will have its North American premiere in 2010 at Toronto's Luminato Festival.
Wainwright wrote the score and a French-language libretto for Prima Donna, his new work set in Paris in 1970, in which aging opera singer Régine Saint Laurent struggles to regain her status as a top-flight soprano on the world stage. In a statement released yesterday, Wainwright described composing an opera as a “daring and risky” endeavour and thanked Toronto “for having the guts to make it happen.”
Co-commissioned by Luminato, the Manchester International Festival and the Melbourne International Arts Festival, the opera will have its world premiere in Manchester in July. Wainwright had reportedly been in talks with New York's Metropolitan Opera for a Big Apple premiere, but negotiations broke down after the Met insisted Prima Donna be sung in English and made it clear they wouldn't mount it before 2014.
The Montreal-groomed Grammy nominee and self-described opera aficionado is also on the verge of premiering his musical adaptation of the sonnets of William Shakespeare, composed in collaboration with the Berliner Ensemble, next month in Berlin.