When we heard that singer songwriter Rufus Wainwright was heading to Aberdeen and Perth as part of a three-date Scottish Highlands tour, of course we were excited.
Fresh from a number of UK shows and a two-date show at Carnegie Hall in New York bringing to life the music of Judy Garland once again, we caught up with Rufus who told us he’s excited to be heading to the Granite City.
“It’s sometimes good to visit smaller places off the usual beaten track and stay away from the larger cities,” he said. “I’m working on a new opera ‘Hadrian’ at the moment, so I’m not quite ready to do anything bigger – I’m just going to be circling the wagons so to speak up in Scotland for the time being.
“I missed writing songs, especially pop songs and writing about my life, so it’s good to get out there and play again and get some music out there, and up in Aberdeen is the perfect place to do that.”
Rufus’ latest album ‘Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets’ was released in April this year to honour the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death. It features readings and music from famous names including Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and his sister Martha.
“It’s something that I’ve always had an interest in,” Rufus said, explaining the idea behind the album.
“When I hit puberty, my mother was getting a little annoyed with me spending a lot of time in my room, so she gave me a book of Shakespeare’s sonnets. Recording the album combines my love of classical and pop music. It came together in such a short space of time and it was literally historically fun.”
So what can fans expect when they head out to see him perform?
“A whole lot of everything!” Rufus laughed. “We have the Sonnets album, and bits and pieces of my back catalogue as well. The location of my show can sometimes play a part in what happens on stage, so you can expect to hear some old folk songs and a few freedom fighter songs.”
Rufus’ next project is an opera on the Roman emperor Hadrian scheduled to be released sometime in 2018.
“I enjoy doing operas,” Rufus said. “This one is about Hadrian’s relationship with Antinous, who drowned. There’s everything in there – a big chorus, lots of characters, a love story.
“I’m very much looking forward to seeing it come together – but first to Scotland!”
○ Catch Rufus Wainwright at Perth Concert Hall, November 19 and Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre on Sunday, November 20.
For tickets, visit www.aberdeenperformingarts.com.