Rufus Wainwright Talks Engagement, Opera At Carnegie Hall Show

Singer confirmed the American debut of his first opera, 'Prima Donna.'

NEW YORK — Rufus Wainwright was in a celebratory mood at Carnegie Hall on Monday night. Just hours after the New York City Opera said it would host the first American production of Wainwright’s debut opera, “Prima Donna,” sometime in 2012, the singer/songwriter also told the audience about his engagement to partner of five years Jörn Weisbrodt.

“I proposed over an Indian meal,” Wainwright told VanityFair.com earlier. “I was very nonchalant, like, ‘Maybe we should get married. Will you marry me?’ ”

Wainwright, who was later joined onstage by sister Martha Wainwright and her year-old son, Arcangelo, gave an intimate performance of his sixth studio album, All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu, which was inspired in part by his mother, the late Kate McGarrigle . His father, folk singer Loudon Wainwright III, and Weisbrodt were in the audience.

The performance marked a sort of homecoming for the Canadian-American singer, who previously took the stage at Carnegie Hall in 2006 for “Rufus Does Judy,” a tribute to Judy Garland’s famous 1961 live album, Judy at Carnegie Hall. In addition to performing each of Lulu‘s 12 tracks, as well as songs from his earlier albums Want One and Poses, Wainwright pulled from his Judy repertoire, belting out “Get Happy” and “A Foggy Day,” in addition to “Alone Together,” which he dedicated to his fiancé.

Wainwright also shared his excitement for the upcoming “Prima Donna” production. “It has all been a dream of mine to walk up to the fountains of Lincoln Square to see a performance of one of my works,” Wainwright told the audience in trademark charming candor. “And now that’s that.”