Singer Rufus Wainwright has launched an online campaign to fund the recording of his opera. The Canadian star composed Prima Donna himself and premiered the show in Manchester, England in 2009. Wainwright now wants to record the music for a CD and digital release ahead of plans for a concert tour, so he is asking members of the public to donate their own cash to fund the studio project. He has set up a page on Pledgemusic.com urging fans to give generously. In a message posted on the page, he writes, "It is vitally important to me that Prima Donna be properly recorded and released so that I can tour a concert version of it in the coming year, and I have decided to do this with the help of both PledgeMusic and the incredible BBC Symphony Orchestra which in turn requires your generous support. Quality studio opera recordings are extremely expensive and too time consuming to pull off these days, and it seems that a once vibrant recording industry is no longer what it was and new methods are needed to get the music out." Wainwright is offering fans special rewards in return for their donations. For $99 (£62) they will be given the chance to sing on stage with the star at one of his shows, while $1,500 (£938) buys a producer's credit and access to the recording sessions wrap party, and for $50,000 (£31,250), Wainwright will play a private concert for the lucky donor.
Celebrated composer Steve Martland has died at the age of 53. The British musician passed away in his sleep on Monday (06May13), according to a representative from his publisher Schott Music, although no further details about his death were available as WENN went to press.
Born in Liverpool, England, Martland studied under top Dutch composer Louis Andriessen and became known for pieces such as 1983's Babi Yar, which was debuted simultaneously in the U.K., with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and in the U.S. with the St. Louis Symphony.
He also toured with his own Steve Martland Band, composed scores for British TV shows including Wilderness Edge, and wrote and co-directed a BBC film about Andriessen, titled A Temporary Arrangement with the Sea.
British classical concert event The BBC Proms will feature rap and punk stars for the first time in its 118 year history. The annual eight-week concert season, founded in 1895, celebrates the best of international classical music and opera, but BBC bosses have broadened their horizons by including a number of contemporary artists on this year's (13) bill.
Punk outfit The Stranglers will appear at the inaugural BBC Radio 6 Music Prom alongside former Catatonia singer Cerys Matthews and folk star Laura Marling.
The Stranglers guitarist Jean-Jacques Burnel says, "I think we're the first band of a certain ilk, a certain generation, to be invited. I'm hoping it reflects the fact that we're one of the most melodic bands around."
Rapper Fazer - formerly of British hip-hop band N-Dubz, and Maverick Sabre will also perform alongside the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the newly introduced Urban Classic Prom.
The Proms will run from 12 July until 7 September (13).
Legendary conductor Sir Colin Davis has died, aged 85. The longtime London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) leader was born in Surrey in 1927 and studied clarinet at the Royal College of Music in London.
He played in the band of the Household Cavalry during his years of military service, and became a professional conductor with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 1957.
A year later he became Sadler's Wells' principal conductor and made his debut with the LSO 1959.
Davis also worked with the Royal Opera House, the BBC Symphony and English Chamber orchestras. He became the LSO's principal conductor in 1995 and its president in 2007.
He was knighted in 1980 and he became a Companion of Honour in Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Honours in 2001.