29 June – 16 July 2017
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Prima Donna

Rufus Wainwright

For his debut opera, Rufus Wainwright worked his passion for Strauss and Puccini into a tale of a fading French singer. International audiences thrilled to Wainwright’s lovely, limpid melodies and a soaring, committed performance from soprano Janis Kelly. The dazzling staging from director Daniel Kramer and designer Antony McDonald helped make Prima Donna a genuine theatrical event, as witnessed by the excitable crowds and reams of press coverage from around the world. During MIF09, Wainwright also played a very intimate solo show in the Pavilion Theatre.

‘This is the kind of work to take the opera world by storm and which may turn opera-writing on its head’ Opera Now


Commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Luminato, Toronto. Produced by Manchester International Festival and Opera North. With thanks to Alistair Spalding for his collaboration and support. Developed with the support of SAM.

MIF09
10-19 July 2009
Palace Theatre, Manchester
World premiere 10 July 2009


MIF worldwide
17-25 February 2012 at the BAM Howard Gillman Opera House, Brooklyn, NY, USA

14-19 June 2010 at the Elgin Theatre, Toronto, Canada as part of Luminato

12-17 April 2010 at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, London, UK