UCSB Arts & Lectures To Host Rufus Wainwright At Santa Barbara’s Campbell Hall

Rufus Wainwright at the Orpheum in LA, earlier this year. He is coming to UCSB Campbell Hall in October. Photo: JB Brookman

UCSB Arts & Lectures presents An Evening with Rufus Wainwright Tues., Oct. 9 at 8 PM at UCSB Campbell Hall. Affectionately called “the greatest songwriter on the planet” by Elton John and praised for his “genuine originality” (The New York Times), Rufus Wainwright is one of the most talented male vocalists and songwriters of his generation.

The son of folk singers Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and brother of Martha Wainwright, Rufus has achieved his own success by carving out a singular, lush and theatrical sound in fields from rock and opera to dance and film. With his soaring voice, unsparing narratives and wry wit, his performances are spellbinding and distinctive.

Wainwright’s new pop-tinged album, Out of the Game, has drawn rave reviews: Rolling Stone picked it as one of the Best Albums of 2012 So Far, praising its “free-wheeling fun,” while The Guardian (U.K.) lauded its songs that “throb with newfound wonder” and the Los Angeles Times called it “an essential recording,” hailing the singer’s “ability to maneuver through complex emotions.”

Wainwright worked with celebrated producer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Adele) on Out of the Game, resulting in some of the loosest, most accessible music of his career. Sounds range from the grand horns-and-strings arrangement of “Jericho” to the classic pop pleasures of “Welcome to the Ball” and the sparse, hypnotic “Montauk” (a song written for his infant daughter).

Wainwright has released 10 albums and multiple DVDs and has appeared on numerous soundtracks and compilations, collaborating with artists like Elton John, David Byrne, Rosanne Cash and Keane. House of Rufus, a packaged 19-disc box set spanning Wainwright’s career, came out in 2011. Among his other albums are 2010’s All Days Are Nights: Songs For Lulu; the Grammy-nominated Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall from 2007, featuring live recordings from his sold-out tribute concerts to Judy Garland at Carnegie Hall; and 2007’s Release the Stars, which went gold in Canada and the U.K.

Wainwright, a lifelong opera lover, wrote an acclaimed first opera, Prima Donna, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival in July 2009, with performances at Sadler’s Wells in London, the Luminato Festival in Toronto and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

He also composed a musical adaptation of Shakespeare’s sonnets with noted director Robert Wilson, which premiered in April 2009 at the Berliner Ensemble in Berlin, as well as original music for choreographer Stephen Petronio’s work BLOOM, which toured the U.S. in 2006. Wainwright has appeared in Academy Award-winning director Deny Arcand’s film, L’Âge des Ténèbres (2007); the Merchant Ivory film Heights (2005) and the Hollywood blockbuster The Aviator (2004) directed by Martin Scorsese.

Wainwright recently married his longtime partner, Jorn Weisbrodt, in Montauk, NY. The couple has a year-old daughter together in a parenting partnership with Lorca Cohen, daughter of Leonard Cohen.

An Evening with Rufus Wainwright is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures with support from 106.9 KCRW presents and Kunin Wines.

Tickets are $45 for the general public and $18 for UCSB students with a current student ID. For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at (805) 893-3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

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