Rufus Wainwright turns us on (to opera)

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus McGarrigle Wainwright once said: “Frank Sinatra has passed on the torch to me. But little did he know that he’d be passing it on to a gay opera queen.”

We like to think Frank knew exactly what he was doing.

On Thursday, Sept. 8, you can see the torch holding Rufus perform in the “Opera for All” gala at the New York State Theater. To hype his performance, the New York Times allowed itself a Wainwright opera roofie.

Gay people should almost be tricked into loving it (opera). In the middle of the night at a rave, when all the revelers are peaking on Ecstasy, they should turn the music off and put on “Samson et Dalila,” just to scare them sort of, and show the other side of bliss.

As much as we (and you?) might enjoy opera, we no more endorse that idea than would suggest a staid opera audience to drop Ecstasy while watching “La Traviata” and then dance their asses off as Violetta dies of consumption.

Rufus, meanwhile, confesses that in the dorm room at his upstate New York boarding school, he danced naked while listening to “The Dance of the Seven Veils” from Strauss’s “Salome.”

Which suggests a new book title: How to Tell When a Pop Icon is a Bottom For Dummies. As a reminder, the song Rufus sang for the Moulin Rouge, “Complainte de la Butte” does not mean “my ass requires something bigger.”