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Rufus Wainwright brings Prima Donna to Adelaide / The Australian, The Advertiser

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The voice that comes down the line is that unmistakeable purr, perhaps betraying traces of cigarettes and chocolate milk. They were the twin vices Rufus Wainwright so memorably described in his breakthrough album Poses in 2001. The singer-songwriter outgrew the extended adolescence described on that CD, has written an opera and is working on a second, fulfilling the ambition of a lifelong love affair with the art form.

This week he returns to Australia for a one-night-only appearance in Adelaide at the Adelaide Festival. In a concert of two halves, Wainwright will present scenes from his opera Prima Donna. Prima Donna is about a soprano, the improbably named Regine Saint Laurent, who is long past her glory years but who asks for one last chance to sing again. The setting is her Paris apartment, on Bastille Day in 1970. The scenario in broad outline sounds suspiciously like the final years of Maria Callas, when the soprano, having sung her last after a disastrous comeback tour, retired in seclusion to her apartment on Avenue Georges-Mandel in Paris. Prima Donna and Rufus Does Judy is at the Festival Theatre, Adelaide, on Saturday at 7.30pm.

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