Michael Berkeley's guest is singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright. His choices include Verdi, Massenet, Messiaen, Nina Simone, Weill, Manuel de Falla, Berlioz and Judy Garland.
Canadian-American singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright can justifiably be described as a member of folk royalty. The son of Loudon Wainwright 3rd and the late Kate McGarrigle, he is also the nephew of Anna McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright, all accomplished musicians in their own right. He describes about how he spent the first few weeks of his life sleeping in a guitar-case, sang with his family from an early age, and depended on them during the difficult periods of his life. His teenage years and his twenties heralded difficulties coming to terms with his sexuality and with drug addiction, but he continued to perform and write music throughout the hard times. Now married to artistic director Jorn Wiesbrodt, he is also a father of Lorca, whose mother is the daughter of Leonard Cohen. Obsessed with Verdi, he has composed his own opera, set Shakespeare sonnets to music and composed for the ballet.
His choices include Verdi, Massenet, Messiaen, Nina Simone, Kurt Weill, Manuel de Falla, Berlioz and Judy Garland.