Rufus Wainright on Opera

AP: What made you want to write your own opera, "Prima Donna"?

Wainwright: It really is a kind of homage to my love of the art form, and to my first foray into that universe, which is a pretty big step to take. Anyway, the establishment, meaning the critics ... love it, but there's another pretty solid group that are very, very upset that I'm writing something musical. They find it sacrilegious to try and make something that people can hum, so I'm just running into a lot of realities when you really go into the classical world. It's a very demanding, very difficult, very rigid place and I am certainly not like that myself. I mean, look at my hair! So yes, it's a journey.

AP: You've worked across a lot of different genres and mediums. Have you ever just wanted to stop and focus on one?

Wainwright: At this point I have laid out the field and I have a choice. I can go down the opera road, I can go down the pop road. I'd also like to try writing a musical at some point. I think that with opera, the next time I write one I will have to do that. I will have to put everything on the back burner and give myself a good five years to just slog through it, because it is a lot of work and you just want to get better. I think with pop, I'm dying to have a big pop hit now too after all this tuning. I have a new found respect for the creative juice that the pop world offers and how much fun it is.


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