Rufus Wainwright to open ‘Royal Albert Home’ virtual gig series

"I am proud to be one of the first artists to give a Royal Albert Home concert from my home"

Rufus Wainwright will open the first of a new virtual gig series from the Royal Albert Hall, it’s been announced.

The new ‘Royal Albert Home’ series will begin later this week and will see artists performing from their homes to keep “the venues’ spirit alive during its closure.”

As well as Wainwright, the series will also see performances from the likes of Baxter Dury, Idlewild frontman Roddy Woomble, Ayanna Witter-Johnson as well as Hard-Fi frontman Richard Archer with vocalist Krysten Cummings.

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The first performance from Wainwright takes place on April 9 at 8:15 pm. You can see the full programme of events here.

Speaking about the gigs, Wainwright said: “When push comes to shove, the Royal Albert Hall is my favourite venue in the UK. It is the perfect mix of both formal and fun. It is grand and intimate at the same time. Also it is where my mother Kate McGarrigle did her last concert in 2009. I am proud to be one of the first artists to give a Royal Albert Home concert from my home in Laurel Canyon in Los Angeles.”

He continued: “I will try to be your ‘Gay Messiah’ in these difficult times, serve you some ‘Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk’, give you hopefully a ‘Peaceful Afternoon’, maybe pray a little ‘Agnus Dei’, hold you virtually ‘In My Arms’, take you to ‘Sanssouci’ in your mind, show you some ‘Pretty Things’ and make your ‘Alone Time’ uplifting, funny, hilarious, beautiful and bearable.

“In short, I will take you through my repertoire and my life, and preview some of my new material from my upcoming album, ‘Unfollow the Rules’, which we are now releasing on 10 July.”

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright – Credit: Press

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Lucy Noble, Artistic Director of the Royal Albert Hall, said: “The Hall has always been a place where people come together at times of national crisis. Right now that isn’t possible, but we want to keep the venue’s spirit alive, and provide something that will cheer you, inspire you or just distract you during this difficult time.”

She added: “These events will reflect the diversity of the shows that we put on each month, allowing audiences not just to spend an evening with a favourite artist, but also to discover new favourites and try something different, whether that’s genre-hopping singer-songwriters, award-winning spoken word, or world-class classical music.”

All shows will be available to stream free of charge but viewers have the option of donating to the venue.

It’s the first time the 149-year-old venue has closed since World War Two.

Noble added: We are doing our best to keep entertaining the world during our closure but the building is at risk and the show cannot go on without support and donations. Now is the chance for anyone who loves this place to show their appreciation and protect the future of the Royal Albert Hall.”

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