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No Wainwright opera for Met

August 29, 2008|Randy Lewis

Rufus Wainwright and the Metropolitan Opera have parted ways over the singer-songwriter's new work that the Met had commissioned from him, over both the language and the timing of the piece, his publicist said Thursday.

Wainwright, who is French Canadian on his mother's side, insisted on writing his first opera in French, while Met officials wanted this and other new works it commissioned recently to be in English to appeal to the largest possible American audience.

In addition, officials at the New York opera company said they wouldn't be able to premiere Wainwright's "Prima Donna" earlier than the 2014 season, while Wainwright has said he wants it to be staged as soon as possible.

He now plans to introduce "Prima Donna," about a day in the life of an opera singer, next summer at the Manchester International Festival in England.

-- Randy Lewis

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