Rufus Wainwright Performs 'Argentina' at TIM RICE - A LIFE IN SONG Tonight
Rufus Wainwright will perform Don't Cry for Me, Argentina at Tim Rice - A Life In Song, at a special show celebrating the life and work of one of our most admired lyricists at the Royal Festival Hall in London tonight, July 8th.
Ahead of her West End musical debut later in the year, Gemma Arterton is the latest name to join an array of stage and screen stars honouring the Oscar, Tony and Olivier Award-winning lyricist, which includes Tim Minchin, Tom Chaplin, Rob Brydon, Roger Daltrey, Alexander Armstrong, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Cynthia Erivo, Seth Lakeman, Julian Ovenden, Rick Wakeman and Frances Ruffelle.
Written by Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Don't Cry for Me, Argentina is taken from their musicalEvita, one of the most celebrated works in British musical theatre history. Originally recorded by Julie Covington, the song was a worldwide hit in 1977, and reached number one in the UK where it sold a million copies. Although interpreted by hundreds of female recording artists, including Madonna, who starred in the Oscar-winning film, male artists have rarely performed it.
Keen for a new take on the song, Rice personally invited Wainwright to perform the song at the July concert. "For nearly 40 years I've heard it sung by the leading ladies of Broadway and the West End and it was time for a new approach", said Rice. "I wanted an original, contemporary take on Argentina - something totally unexpected. Rufus has done some wonderful interpretations of Broadway standards, so it seems strange that no one has ever asked him to do it before. He'll knock the audience's socks off."
Wainwright added: "What healthy growing gay boy doesn't fantasize about singing a ballad atop a baroque balcony, dressed in Dior, in front of thousands of cheering plebeians? Don't Cry For Me, Argentina is truly the ultimate. So excited to sing it."
Gemma Arterton, who is making her musical theatre debut in Made in Dagenham later in the year, joins Tony-award winning singer-songwriter Tim Minchin, who will sing Heaven on Their Minds from Jesus Christ Superstar. Other confirmed acts include Tom Chaplin of Keane, who will sing Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Downton Abbey's Julian Ovenden, who will sing Anthem, from Chess, and Robert Lonsdale, the star of Rice's recent show, From Here to Eternity. Folk superstar Seth Lakeman will perform Any Dream Will Do and Rob Brydon will sing It's Easy For You, Rice's only song penned for Elvis Presley. Speaking on The One Show where he performed an impromptu excerpt of the song, Brydon said, "It's a big, dramatic ballad and foolishly I've agreed to sing it at this event with proper singers."
The show will feature the BBC Concert Orchestra and be televised for broadcast later in the year for BBC Two. Further artists will be announced in the next two weeks.