Commonwealth Day, Westminster Abbey 2012 - Rufus Wainright performs
Written by ACM   
Tuesday, 10 April 2012

With his love of opera and musical theatre as well as pop music, rising singer, songwriter and composer Rufus Wainwright has become a master of the grand statement, whether emulating Judy Garland's Carnegie Hall fabulousness or when, more. recently, adopting a Shakespearean Dark Lady persona for the world tour to promote his 2010 album All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu, writes Iain Shedden in The Australian’s Review 7 April 2012 .

As stage set-ups go, however, Iain Shedden says they don't come much grander than performing to a VIP audience that includes the Queen in the rarefied air of Westminster Abbey. So it was last month when Wainwright, by virtue of his Canadian heritage, sang Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah at the annual Commonwealth Day observance service in London.

In these royal surroundings the 38-year-old singer slipped back into the limelight to embark on the next phase of his career, slightly overawed by the occasion.

"Certainly that the Queen was there was fantastic," he enthusiastically told Iain Shedden, "but just singing in Westminster Abbey was the clincher. She was very gracious, Her Graciousness, Her Royal Highness," he adds, warming to the topic. "She was very lovely and very small, but I guess that's what happens when you have the weight of the world for 80 years on your back; all those jewels."

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