Rufus Wainwright is a huge opera buff, and has written two of his own: Prima Donna
(2009) and Hadrian
(2018). "Devils And Angels (Hatred)" was inspired by the 1777 opera Armide
by Christoph Willibald Gluck. Wainwright saw it around 2000 with his mother, the folk singer Kate McGarrigle.
"It was a bit slow-going at first, but at a certain point, it all sort of clicked," Wainwright told Songfacts
. "The opera is about a sorceress who wants to rid love from her heart because it's too cumbersome
, shall we say, and it gets in the way of her evil-doing. So, at a certain point, she summons hate. Then there's this wonderful scene where hate personified rises out of the ground and tries to expunge love from her heart. It just really stuck with me. And of course, with what we're dealing with today, all the gods have to gather in these moments! So, we're definitely in a 'baroque' period."