Rufus Wainwright recorded a private concert in an historic Greenwich Village church. On March 4, Wainwright’s inspired performance, which was filmed and recorded for PBS’ “Live from the Artists Den,” will be released on CD, digital album, and Blu-ray video by Artists Den Records/UMe. The 69-minute Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den concert release includes five songs that were not included in the broadcast, and the Blu-ray features an additional 50 minutes of behind-the-scenes bonus material.
“Candles” is the closing song on Wainwright’s acclaimed 2012 album, Out of the Game, but it was the perfect a cappella opener for his “Live from the Artists Den” performance at the magnificent Church of the Ascension, on Manhattan’s lower Fifth Avenue. Built in 1841, the National Historic Landmark church was a breathtaking backdrop for the gorgeous tale of searching for a place to light a memorial for his late mother, singer Kate McGarrigle.
Resplendent in tails and gold sequined pants, Wainwright performed 16 songs, paying tribute to Kate during the set with an emotional, solo piano rendition of her “On My Way to Town,” before bringing out super-producer Mark Ronson, who worked with Wainwright on Out of the Game. Wainwright and his band, with Ronson on guitar, close the show with the rousing, disco-flavored “Bitter Tears.”
The Blu-ray’s bonus materials include an exclusive, extended interview with Wainwright, an additional interview with the Church of Ascension’s since-retired rector, Father Andrew, “Inside the Den,” a behind-the-scenes look at the concert shoot and location, and a “Night in Pictures” slideshow.
“I’ve found that the venue essentially dictates everything,” Wainwright says in the filmed program. “For someone who is pretty focused on the capabilities of the voice, as I am, churches are our friends.”
Mark Lieberman, “Live from the Artists Den” creator and executive producer, says, “Rufus Wainwright is amongst the finest performers of our time. His ‘Artists Den’ secret show at the Church of the Ascension is still one of my favorite nights, a rare moment in the illustrious career of this incredible musician.”
Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright will also be released on March 4 by Universal Music Enterprises (UMe). The new collection’s single-disc and digital edition features 17 standout songs that define one of modern music’s most innovative talents, as well as a brand new recording, “Me and Liza.” A 2CD and digital deluxe edition adds 16 rare live and studio tracks.
Wainwright will tour Europe in March, and he has confirmed five U.S. theater concerts in April to support the release of Vibrate: The Best of Rufus Wainwright. Tickets for the U.S. concerts are on-sale now at www.rufuswainwright.com:
April 15 - New York, NY / Town Hall
April 16 - Washington, DC / Lincoln Theatre
April 18 - Los Angeles, CA / Orpheum Theatre
April 19 - San Francisco, CA / Palace of Fine Arts
April 20 - San Francisco, CA / Palace of Fine Arts
Rufus Wainwright has established himself as one of his generation’s great male vocalists and songwriters. The New York-born, Montreal-bred singer/songwriter has released seven acclaimed studio albums and two live albums, including his acclaimed GRAMMY® nominated Rufus Does Judy At Carnegie Hall.
Wainwright has also collaborated with many artists, including, most recently, Robbie Williams, co-writing and dueting on the title track of his Swing Both Ways album. He has also worked with the Pet Shop Boys, Shirley Bassey, Elton John, Antony, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, Robert Wilson, Lou Reed, Boy George, and Mark Ronson.
In 2009 his first opera, “Prima Donna,” premiered at the Manchester International Festival, followed by a run at Sadler’s Wells in 2010 and an American premiere for New York City Opera in February 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Wainwright has just been commissioned by the Canadian Opera Company to write his second opera, based on the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and Antinoos. The new opera will premiere in Toronto in October 2018.
Wainwright’s tours with and without a band are equally acclaimed. From Glastonbury to the Royal Opera House via Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Hollywood Bowl, Rufus Wainwright has proven himself to be quite the showman. He has also performed many notable shows with some of the world’s best orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, playing a selection of his own songs and his Shakespearean Sonnets.
Rufus Wainwright: Live from the Artists Den [CD; digital; Blu-ray]
* song not included in broadcast
3. Song of You
4. Barbara *
5. Welcome to the Ball *
6. The One You Love
7. Respectable Dive8. Jericho
9. Out of the Game
10. One Man Guy*
11. Going to a Town
13. 14th Street*
15. On My Way to Town
16. Bitter Tears