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from 9 to October 11, 2023
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Rufus Wainwright

Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective - Act 1: Songs of Youth and Addiction
Salle des concerts - Cité de la musique
Duration: about 2h00



Rufus Wainwright
Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk
In With The Ladies
Damned Ladies
Vicious World
Matinee Idol
Early Morning Madness
Memphis Skyline
A Bit of You
Hometown Waltz
Sally Ann
Gay Messiah
Between My Legs
Beautiful Child
Perfect Man
Imaginary Love
The Tower of Learning
Leonard Cohen
Chelsea Hotel No. 2
Jean Renoir, Georges Van Parys
La complainte de la butte
Rufus Wainwright , singer, piano, guitare
Zak Hobbs , guitar
Jacob Mann , piano
Gioele Amaro , vidéo
Olivier Simola , montage vidéo

For his three-concert series, Rufus Wainwright presents songs from his pop albums organised into three broad categories. Act I is devoted to ‘Songs of Youth and Addiction’. 

Starting with the first day of the covid 19 lock down in March 2020, Rufus Wainwright performed a song each day for his Instagram Followers calling this new series "Quarantunes". His fans around the world embraced these daily musical messages from his home in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles. A few months into the pandemic he decided to embark on A Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective, a series of 20 live stream concerts from his living room with his guitar player Brian Green and pianist Jacob Mann going through his entire studio album song catalogue in chronological order. Each 45 minute show had a micro-audience of one from Jamie Lee Curtis to Renee Zellweger, James Corden to Darren Criss, from Zach Galifianakis to Paul Rudd. 

For his 3 concerts Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective at the Philharmonie in Paris Rufus has decided to take a different approach and focus on his pop studio albums and arranging the songs not chronologically but thematically into 3 main categories: "Songs of Youth and Addiction", "Songs of Love and Desire", "Songs of Contempt and Resistance". This is the first time that Rufus is presenting his retrospective live. While his albums are overflowing with lush orchestral arrangements, back up vocals and harmonies, that showcase his many influences from opera to Broadway to chanson, operetta and experimental pop, for his three Paris show, the presentation of the songs will be stripped down, focusing on the craft of the songs and Wainwright's unique and gorgeous voice that let's him immerse himself deep into the emotional world of a song and take the audience with him.

The singer collaborated with Italian visual and new media artist Gioele Amaro whose work blurs the boundaries between traditional media such as painting, photography, drawing and new media. Each song will be accompanied by a video created specifically for the song. For these videos Amaro is exploring new visual territory creating haunting surreal digital worlds. The images do not illustrate Wainwright's songs but rather add new layers of meaning, inviting us to listen anew and thus shedding new light on the music which is the ultimate goal of a retrospective: to look forward by looking back. 

Act 1: Wainwright debuted his first album at the age of 25. His songwriting goes back more than a decade before. He has been outspoken about his struggle with addiction to drugs and alcohol but ultimately his addiction to life and his art and music has been greater and prevented him from a darker fate. Addiction is an expression of obsession and Wainwright harbors many an obsession that show up throughout his entire catalogue: with love, with men, with opera, with Hollywood's Golden Period, or with chocolate. It is these obsessions that are fuel for his searching as an artist. 



Rufus Wainwright - In With The Ladies (visual by Gioele Amaro)

Salle des concerts - Cité de la musique

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Getting here

Porte de Pantin station
Paris Underground (Métro) Line 5
Tram 3B 


221 avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris

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