Dedicated to his art as he was, Monet famously painted his wife as she lay dying. I ask [Rufus] Wainwright if, as his mother was dying, he found himself standing back and thinking 'I must tap into this intensely emotional experience creatively'?

'I guess so. I think my mother more than anyone knew the importance of inspiration. If it was occurring, you had to use it. I felt blessed that I was able to be with her in the final month.

'She very much led the way for all of us and it was a lesson in grace and nobility. It's funny because, on the one hand, she didn't really want to hear me practising my new album, because it was making her sad [the album is an elegy to his dying mother].

'She knew she wouldn't be around when I was touring it. It was like: "This is the album he's going to be performing when I'm dead." So she very gently asked me not to play so much.' It is a touching comment: a son's desire to win his dying mother's approval coupled with an endearing lack of self-awareness. [Telegraph]

Rufus Wainwright's July 20th headlining show at the Prospect Park Bandshell is now being billed as "A Family Affair", as Rufus's dad Loudon was added to the bill in June (also don't forget, "This special performance will include a selection of songs from the Judy Garland show performed with piano accompaniment."). Tickets are still on sale for the Brooklyn show and I have a couple of pairs to give away. Details on winning those, with updated Rufus dates, below...

Rufus Wainwright - 2010 Tour Dates
Jul 20 - Prospect Park Bandshell, with Loudon Wainwright III Brooklyn, NY
Aug 1 - Paramount Theatre Asbury Park, NJ
Aug 3 - Opera House Boston, MA
Aug 4 - Mann Center for the Performing Arts Philadelphia, Pennsylvan, US
Aug 6 - The Ridgefield Playhouse Ridgefield, CT
Aug 7 - The Music Center at Strathmore North Bethesda, MD
Aug 8 - Carnegie Music Hall Pittsburgh, PA
Aug 10 - Pabst Theatre Milwaukee, WI
Aug 11 - Orchestra Hall Minneapolis, MN
Aug 13 - Bank of America Theatre Chicago, IL
Aug 15 - The Midland by AMC Kansas City, MO
Aug 17 - Paramount Theatre Denver, CO
Aug 20 - The Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA
Aug 21 - Fox Theater Oakland, CA
Aug 22 - Uptown Theatre Napa Napa, CA
Aug 23 - The Mountain Winery Saratoga, California, US
Aug 25 - Paramount Theater Seattle, WA
Aug 25 - Paramount Theater Seattle, WA
Oct 5 - JCB Hall Tokyo, JAPAN
Oct 6 - Club Quattro Nagoya, JAPAN
Oct 8 - Namba Hatch Osaka, JAPAN
Oct 14 - Sydney Opera House Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Oct 15 - QPAC Concert Hall Brisbane, AUSTRALIA
Oct 17 - Festival Theatre Adelaide, AUSTRALIA
Oct 18 - Concert Hall Perth, AUSTRALIA
Oct 21 - State Theatre Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Oct 24 - Palais Theatre Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Oct 28 - Town Hall Auditorium Christchurch, NEW ZEALAND
Oct 30 - Michael Fowler Centre Auditorium Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
Oct 31 - The Civic Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Nov 18 - Crossing Border The Hague, NETHERLANDS
Nov 20 - De Oosterpoort Groningen, NETHERLANDS
Nov 22 - Royal Albert Hall (Special Guest: Martha Wainwright) London, GB

TO WIN FREE A PAIR OF FREE TICKETS to Rufus Wainwright in Prospect Park, Email BVCONTESTS@HOTMAIL.COM (subject: Rufus). Include your first and last name. Winners will be picked at random and contacted with instructions. Good luck!