Out acclaimed composer, vocalist and songwriter Rufus Wainwright will perform a concert backed by the Philly POPS and Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus Jan. 19 at the Kimmel Center. The orchestra will accompany Wainwright through his unique repertoire, which will include highlights from his career.
Karen Corbin, vice president of the Philly POPS, said that while the orchestra is collaborating with Wainwright for the performance, the singer is calling the shots in regard to the songs.
“He’s created a series of shows lately that have an orchestral background,” Corbin said. “Rufus himself provides the setlist. There’s some back and forth on that. Then it’s performed with him in front of the full orchestra. Creatively, the repertoire comes from his songbook.”
Danny Palmieri, PGMC member and assistant director of sales, said the choral group’s participation in the event takes places before the concert and later during the final number.
“The POPS audience that night will be treated to a mini PGMC stage performance pre-show on the Commonwealth Plaza stage,” he said. “Then they will be joining Rufus for the finale, his encore performance of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah,’ which with the orchestra and Rufus and the hundred voices of the PGMC, will be a stunning moment not to be missed. The PGMC are choosing pieces that fit in with the evening. Some of their more-popular work will be performed on the Commonwealth Stage.”
Following the concert, Wainwright, the Philly POPS and PGMC will participate in a meet-and-greet at the William Way LGBT Community Center, which will feature another performance by PGMC and a dessert reception. Proceeds from the meet-and-greet will benefit the community center.
“When Rufus was brought on to this project, he was presented with a number of different charities and chose the William Way,” Palmieri said. “So we have VIP tickets we are selling that will bring you to the dessert reception after the concert. Rufus visited and he was so moved by the William Way Center. We are thrilled that he chose them as the most-deserving charity.”
Rufus Wainwright performs with the Philly POPS and the PGMC 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at the Kimmel’s Verizon Hall. For more information, call 215-893-1999. For VIP reception tickets, call 215-735-2841.