Singer Rufus Wainwright has launched an online campaign to fund the recording of his opera.

The Canadian star composed Prima Donna himself and premiered the show in Manchester, England in 2009.

Wainwright now wants to record the music for a Cd and digital release ahead of plans for a concert tour, so he is asking members of the public to donate their own cash to fund the studio project.

He has set up a page on Pledgemusic.com urging fans to give generously. In a message posted on the page, he writes, "It is vitally important to me that Prima Donna be properly recorded and released so that I can tour a concert version of it in the coming year, and I have decided to do this with the help of both PledgeMusic and the incredible BBC Symphony Orchestra which in turn requires your generous support. Quality studio opera recordings are extremely expensive and too time consuming to pull off these days, and it seems that a once vibrant recording industry is no longer what it was and new methods are needed to get the music out."

Wainwright is offering fans special rewards in return for their donations. For $99 (£62) they will be given the chance to sing on stage with the star at one of his shows, while $1,500 (£938) buys a producer's credit and access to the recording sessions wrap party, and for $50,000 (£31,250), Wainwright will play a private concert for the lucky donor.