Rufus Wainwright and Met Opera End Brief Romance

We’ve never seen an opera at the Met. It’s one of those things that has been discussed as a sort of thing-to-do-while-you- live-in-New-York, but since we’ve been here for eleven years, and aren’t going anywhere, what’s the rush? But we’ll admit that we would have been intrigued by the thought of seeing an opera by pop diva Rufus Wainwright, especially since it’s about a “day in the life of an aging soprano in 1970s Paris,” as the New York Times puts it. Sadly, however, plans to bring Mr. Wainwright’s work to the Met have fallen apart, because of his insistence that the work be presented in French. Not helping was the fact that the Met is booked until 2014. More from the NYT:

“They work on that sort of scale; I wanted to get it out as soon as possible,” he said, adding wryly, “because I’m an impatient pop star.”

…Mr. Gelb said he knew from the beginning that Mr. Wainwright, who was raised in Montreal, was writing in French. “I hoped he would switch over, but he was determined to do it in French,” he said. “Presenting a new opera that is not in English at the Met, when it could be in English, is an immediate impediment to its potential success with audiences.”

Mr. Wainwright said that at first he had been open to the idea of translating the text into English. But as the composition went on, he said, the French words became too “entrenched” in the music.