Slash Rocks, Rufus Mumbles, Swinging Sixties: London Weekend

Rufus Wainwright
Rufus Wainwright, the five solo artist to have a five-night residency at the Royal Opera House in London, poses by his piano. Wainwright performs with his sister Martha and his father Loudon, and there are excerpts from his opera ``Prima Donna. Photograph Matthias Clamer. Source Royal Opera via Bloomberg

Rufus Wainwright is coming to the end of his five-night marathon at the Royal Opera House.

Tonight, he’ll be joined by father Loudon Wainwright III, with Judy Garland songs on Friday. On Saturday, he sings his own material after Janis Kelly stars in a concert version of his opera “Prima Donna.”

“House of Rufus: Five Nights of Velvet, Glamour and Guilt” runs until July 23. Some tickets are still available.

Information: or +44-20-7304-4000.

Close by in Covent Garden, you’ll find excellent, inexpensive food at the new Opera Tavern. (Try the bar or a ground-floor table.) Meat skewers and mini-burgers are a must for carnivores; stuffed courgette flowers will please others. Information: and +44-20-7836-3680.

For some revolutionary fun, meet the Tahrir Square troubadours who helped bring about regime change in Egypt, including Suez band El Tanbura and singer-songwriter Ramy Essam.

They play the Barbican Hall on Friday for a “Night on Tahrir Square.”

Information: or +44-20-7638-8891.

The concert is part of the Mayor of London’s Shubbak Festival of Arab culture:


Learn how to fashion your very own Renaissance altarpiece.

A free exhibition at the National Gallery shows how altarpieces were originally used, how they were put together and framed, and how they were dismembered into exquisite fragments that now stand alone as museum displays.

Bringing it all to life is a reconstituted church interior with a 15th-century cross, flickering candles and choral music. The wall-to-wall altarpieces inside include Luca Signorelli’s circumcision of Christ.

“Devotion by Design: Italian Altarpieces Before 1500” ends Oct. 2 at the National Gallery. Information: or +44-20-7747-2885.

The nearby Massimo restaurant in the new Corinthia Hotel serves gourmet Italian food in opulent surroundings. Just check your credit-card balance first.

Information: and +44-20-7930-8181.

Saturday Night

London’s summer music festival season breaks the sound barrier with High Voltage starting Saturday. The event is topped by Slash, whose music has been getting louder, heavier and faster since his time in Guns N’ Roses.

Heavy-metal rockers Judas Priest play their final London date on a “Farewell” world tour. The 40-year-old band blasts out “Grinder” and other songs that have helped it sell 50 million copies of albums and singles.



David Bowie poses for an album cover with a lightning flash across his face. John Lennon grins. Michael Caine lights up.

All are portraits in a show by the late photographer Brian Duffy, who captured London in the swinging 1960s and ‘70s. Duffy might have been as famous as fellow East Enders Terence Donovan and David Bailey had he not quit the business and burned lots of his negatives in 1979.

Organizers have trawled the archives to present Duffy shots of everyone from Prime Minister Harold Wilson to Jean Shrimpton, Brigitte Bardot, Sidney Poitier and William Burroughs.

Idea Generation Gallery, 11 Chance Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7JB, through Aug. 29. Open weekdays 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; weekends 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Limited-edition prints are for sale. Information: +44-20-7749-6850,

(Farah Nayeri and Mark Beech write for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. The opinions expressed are their own.)

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