Grandiosity comes naturally to Rufus. The acclaimed singer-songwriter has an unabashed love of dramatic music. In 2007, he recreated Judy Garland’s legendary 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. His most recent album is a recording of his own opera Prima Donna. Now Rufus has embraced his love of Shakespeare, something he’s explored a little before. Actors Carrie Fisher, William Shatner and Helena Bonham Carter recite sonnets, while members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra back Rufus and his assortment of guest vocalists. Rufus and Austrian coloratura soprano Anna Prohaska offer male and female takes on “A Woman’s Face,” and his sister Martha Wainwright joins him on “Unperfect Actor.” Rufus even dips into his affinity for German on “All dessen müd.” The album’s most “pop” moment comes when Rufus teams up with Florence Welch on the gorgeous “When in Disgrace with Fortune and Men’s Eyes.” For the always-ambitious Rufus, Shakespeare is the latest feather in his prodigious quill.
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