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from 9 to October 11, 2023
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Rufus Wainwright

Rufus-Retro-Wainwright-Spective - Act 3: Songs of Contempt and Resistance
Salle des concerts - Cité de la musique
Duration: about 2h00



Rufus Wainwright
Release The Stars
Waiting For A Dream
Liberty Cabbage
Damsel In Distress
Rebel Prince
Alone Time
In A Graveyard
Not ready to love
Welcome To The Ball
Trouble In Paradise
Out Of The Game
Go Or Go Ahead
This One's For The Ladies (That Lunge)
Gilles Vigneault
Quand vous mourrez
Rufus Wainwright
Traduction de Renan Luce
14th Street
Going to a town
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 III is dedicated to ‘Songs of Disdain and Resistance’.  

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 3: Any highly original artist is going to find resistance from the outside world against their work and if they want to be successful will have to put up a fight for their position in the world. He will also fight himself, his doubts and demons. These fights can be political, artistic, or personal. Exuberant as Wainwright is in his song-writing, these feelings fuel some of his most epic songs and lyrics from Old Testament references in Jericho to symphonic climaxes in "Go" or "Go Ahead". But as in all of Wainwright's songs, there is a joy and irony in what he is expressing, a lust for the art of songwriting that lifts these personal struggles into a much higher plain of human experience. 


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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