Rufus Wainwright is to perform for five nights at London's Royal Opera House next July. ((

Canadian singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright has signed on for five days of concerts at London's Royal Opera House.

It is the first such residency for a pop artist at the historic Covent Garden opera house, which opened in 1809.

Wainwright, who created his first opera, Prima Donna, for last year's Manchester International Festival, said he hopes to write more operas.

The five-day residency next July titled House of Rufus: Five Days of Velvet, Glamour and Guilt, will showcase both his pop and opera persona:

  •  July 18: Rufus Does Judy!, Wainwright's tribute to Judy Garland with Stephen Oremus, conducting the Britten Sinfonia.
  • July 19: Wainwright will perform with his sister, Martha Wainwright.
  • July 21: Wainwright will perform with his father, Loudon Wainwright.
  • July 22:  Rufus Does Judy! with Wainwright and Oremus.
  • July 23: a concert version of Wainwright's opera Prima Donna, with performances by Wainwright and opera singer Janis Kelly.

It will be Wainwright's only European appearance for 2011.

Wainwright, son of the late Kate McGarrigle, said his mother encouraged him to listen to opera. His first opera, Prima Donna, played in Toronto earlier this year. It follows an aging opera singer who is contemplating a return to the stage.

Wainwright grew up in Montreal and had an international career as a pop singer before experimenting with opera. Last year, he toured Canada with All Days are Nights: Songs for Lulu.