In 2008, Covent Garden opened its doors exclusive to readers of the Sun newspaper for the first night of its season. The tabloid even parked its open-topped bus outside the venue on the evening of the performance of Don Giovanni. Then earlier this year, an opera-biopic of American trailer trash icon Anna Nicole Smith brought a level of publicity that any opera composer would give their right arm for.
Where on the scale of populism does Rufus Wainwright sit? The singer-songwriter sets up shop in July for the House of Rufus, making him the first solo artist to be resident at the opera house. The project’s subtitle, “Five Nights of Velvet, Glamour and Guilt”, sums up the high-camp aesthetic of this very operatic pop star.
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