Rufus to reign at the Royal Opera House

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The Independent Culture

Rufus Wainwright is to become the first pop artist to take upresidency at the Royal Opera House in London.

The Canadian-American singer-songwriter will perform for five evenings next July, under the banner "House of Rufus: Five Nights of Velvet, Glamour and Guilt". The residency will include two performances of his show Rufus Does Judy!, a re-imagining of Judy Garland's 1961 comeback concert at Carnegie Hall, which has been touted as the "greatest night in show-business history".

He will also perform with his father, the singer and humourist Loudon Wainwright III, and his sister Martha. The final concert will be a version of the opera Prima Donna starring soprano Janis Kelly, after which Wainwright will perform solo.

The five evenings will be the singer's only European concerts in 2011. "All the crowned heads of Europe I am sure will be getting on Eurostar," he said.

"Though I'm in the pop world, I have been a secret, or not so secret, opera addict for many years. I remember coming for the first time to the Royal Opera House as a teenager. We'll have fun and enjoy the space."