From the category archives:

Lessons for Rufus

Ravel checks in

July 8, 2009

My Dear Rufus I heard your preview aria from your new opera and am quite pleased at your new direction. Might I remind you to please not be overly influenced by Philip Glass, and his habit of getting “stuck” in one register when composing for the keyboard. Look at the piano music I have written […]

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Notes from Franz

May 24, 2009

Dear Rufus I am so proud and happy for you and your recent compositions. I heard your new Shakespeare Sonnets–they remind me of some of my own songs. You struggle with a desire for an old-time, folky sense of harmony fighting with being more harmonically adventurous. Meld the two my boy. I have avoided sitting […]

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Cher Hector, My true nature as a hermit coupled with Rufus Wainwright’s hectic touring schedule has led me to the conclusion that I am not the right teacher for him. i am happy to hear that your opium habit is now in the past and would like you to reconsider taking him back as you […]

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. Rufus is writing words for a new aria at his desk in a chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. He looks up and out the window at the amazing view. So far away from New York, and London and Paris. Deep breath. But he’s stuck on a word. “What rhymes with ‘choose it’? lose it, moose […]

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Rufus meets Maurice Ravel

March 20, 2007

[Rufus, takes a break from composing his opera, and watching Fellini’s SATYRICON the screen freezes on the face of the young, brown hair, big-eyed gay boy, whose face slowly grows and fills the entire 50 inch flat screen display. Rufus bolts, knowing this is not in the movie. “Hello?” The face on the screen slowly […]

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Rufus fires Charles Ives

March 15, 2007

[Ides of March, 2007; Rufus writes to Hector Berlioz begging for a different teacher.] Cher Hector, Please make that mongoose Charles Ives go away. He’s a jerk and really not that good of a teacher. He’s constantly popping up on my computer screen, my television, and even the GPS in my car. I can’t take […]

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. [Rufus turns on his computer, opens his instant messaging program, and BLAMO! Charles Ives’ face appears on his screen.] CI: Hey Ralph! (Ives puts his nose up against the camera, and then squashes his face against the screen, looking rather silly.) Ain’t this new fangled technology somethin’? RW: (Laughs in his machine gun giggle.)Yeah, […]

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Charlie emails Rufus

February 27, 2007

Ralph, I’ve been watching and listening to your recent scena and before Harmony and I go off to dinner, I need to point something out that will help it. Too much of the scene is the same dynamic. Give us a section that is breathtakingly quiet, and a section with a ear-blasting volume ol’ Berlioz […]

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Dear Ralph,* I have gone through the material that you sent me. I have to say I don’t understand why Hector thinks you are a composer. You seem like mostly a songwriter. I wrote some songs in my day, some good ones, and some really bad ones. You can find them in the collection called […]

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[Email sent to M. Rufus Wainwright from M. Claude Debussy; 19 February 2007] Mon cher, Do not listen to that macho cowboy Ives about changing your name. He is an idiot. I was assigned to oversee your work on your new opera, but told not to interfere. I have been in correspondence with Ms. Brown […]

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