Was William Shakespeare a hack? Is his work really the amalgamation of 100 monkeys typing away in a Simon & Schuster basement? Nobody knows for sure, but it’s hard to ignore his influence. The latest in a long line of artists to get bit by the love bard is Rufus Wainwright, who will be releasing an album of performances of nine sonnets in memory of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.
The album, titled Take All My Loves: 9 Shakespeare Sonnets, will be released on Deutsche Grammophon on April 22 and will feature guests Florence Welch, Helena Bonham Carter, Carrie Fisher, William Shatner, Martha Wainwright, Anna Prohaska and Siân Phillips.
“For me, recording this album has been a marriage made in heaven, as it combines my love of classical music with my love of pop music,” Wainwright said in a press release. “It’s literally historically fun. And made all the better by working again with [producer] Marius [de Vries].”