'Prima Donna' is my kind of love song to opera but it's not the full experience.

I've paid the price; I definitely have a reputation that precedes me, and there is a camp that plots my demise. But then again... it's funner that way.

I'm very fit on tour. I try to eat well, try to sleep. But it's still rock n' roll.

I bemoan the fact that all my famous friends have places in St. Bart's and I have to go to Montauk.

I'll be honest, I worry sometimes about what I've done. I have tied my whole person to my art and, whatever it takes to get that hook, I will go there and do it.

The Germany I was enthused with was more old fashioned and kind of romantic. I just got there, and the next thing you know, I had this huge gilded album. It was kind of an amazing experience because I didn't intend it to be that way.

I believe a lot of our lives are spent asleep, and what I've been trying to do is hold on to those moments when a little spark cuts through the fog and nudges you.

Life is a game and true love is a trophy.

I'm definitely a fan of juxtaposition. Using the most beautiful line to say the most horrific thing - I think one of the main things in songwriting is definitely friction between the words and the melody.

When I'm in the classical world, I really treat it as exactly classical and I don't try and spruce it up or jazz it up or make it easier for the masses.

In the music business, to survive for so long, you have to be able to cut off from your emotions sometimes. And being a father, you're faced with that situation. I know that my father was, with me. I understand why he had to be distant, because to rip yourself away, time after time, is almost more devastating.

The thing I hate most is false modesty. The artists who are, like, 'Oh, you know, I'm really not that good. Oh, I can't believe I'm here.' I find it vaguely sinister, even.

I've had my ups and downs, and I definitely have a sense - in America, especially - that once you've made your mark and gotten your Rolling Stone piece and your Grammy nomination, that they're on to the next piece of meat, and they don't necessarily like to follow the twists and turns of an artistic career.

My love of maple syrup. I've been known to knock back a can over a couple days: A swig here, a swig there, and next thing you know it's gone. It's a habit I have to stave off. I don't want to lose all my teeth.

I could always escape into this demi-monde of homosexuality, which I feel really indebted to. It stopped me being a 'mummy's boy.'

To me, songs come of their own volition - and with an open-ended philosophy.

I'm very much a romantic. I'm highly attuned to an older sensibility, which I believe is alive and well. We're not that far ahead of the Romantic Age in society.

You know the question: 'How do you get to Carnegie Hall?' Answer: 'Practise?' Well, in my case, I got there by not practising. I didn't finish my music degree. And when I got into the pop world, I decided not to conform because I figured that the point of being an artist was that you shouldn't be like anyone else.

Crazy as it sounds, I'm a believer in destiny and serendipity, and I have had cosmic experiences all my life. Something told me I was meant for greater stuff. And look, I've had a baby! And I've written an opera!

I do not consider myself a guitar player. My father is a guitar player - I'm not.

The artist who gave me the most inspiration and direction, especially as a singer - and I absolutely consider myself a singer, 100 percent - is Nina Simone. She's my ultimate pianist-singer-type person.

I find so many songwriters today are missing an element... either the production is amazing but the songs aren't, or it's the other way around.

I very much faced my mother's death with hard, arduous and time-consuming labor. The more I would do, the less I would feel.

Being uncool is being pretty much the coolest you can be.

I'm a big fan of the Pre-Raphaelites. Millais, Edward Burne-Jones, and I realised recently that my music is Pre-Raphaelite in a certain way, in that it reinvents an older era and romanticises it, puts it in this gilded frame.

My mother and father could not handle even me being gay. We never talked about it, really.

I was reared on folk music.

I'm hyper light-sensitive and must sleep in the equivalent of a sealed tomb.

I love being not cool.

I have never cooked a meal in my life and always end up paying for dozens of people to eat with me.

I am ridiculously high-maintenance.

I'm not born again, I'm not Kabbalah, God forbid, but I did have an experience hitting 30 that I needed to lean on something that assured me that everything is going to be okay. I had to regain a lot of my belief in fairy tales, in happy endings.

I definitely consider 'Poses' - the whole album in fact - to be kind of a miracle. Like the last breath of that moment when decadence is healthy, 'Poses' encapsulates that feeling. It's a kind of song and a kind of album that I'll never be able to repeat.

There's prejudice everywhere. I don't think the music industry is as bad as the movie industry. But I have taken a few hits over the years for my sexuality, and for being honest about my life. In the end, it's the music that rules the roost.

After years of hotels, I'm horribly inept at cleaning up after myself.

I definitely have a Luddite's approach to what's going on. I find that as I get older, I get stupider.

When I wrote the opera, I made a deal with myself that for at least an hour a day I would work on it, even if it meant just sitting on my piano bench, staring into space and thinking about it. It's about keeping it regular, like your bowel movements - let's get real: it's your bodily artistic movements! It comes from the same place.

It seems like the older I get, the more unreal the world becomes.

My cheeks explode when I smile. That's why I have to look so nonplussed.

I think we could all be a bit more elitist.

I have an ounce of Lady Gaga's full-bodied ambition.

I have earned hundreds of thousands of pounds, but I can't seem to get to grips with money.

For better or worse, I've always been curious musically. Whether it's opera or Judy Garland or pop, I've deliberately sought those things out. I've never wanted to do the same things over and over. Some think I've accomplished what I set out to do, and others consider me a dilettante.

Looking back, one of the things I love most about my mom was that she never, ever relented. She stuck to her guns right up until the end. She wasn't abusive, but she was never that thrilled that I was gay.

Arguably, the relationship between Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland is one of the great mother-daughter sagas of all time. Certainly, for certain people, and a lot of them, Liza is the bigger star. Liza is the more kind of viable legend, shall we say. Then there's the other camp, where Judy is the one.

I basically have needed to go to the piano and give voice periodically to, you know - I'm always afraid to describe it as a kind of therapeutic process, but nevertheless it was a type of unloading that had to occur due to my personal life with my mother's health or just my professional trials and tribulations.

For me, the iPhone is harder than reading Faust.

My parents were serious working musicians, but they were not stars - not like pop stars that you have now. They had to make a living and that meant touring, working hard, going on the road - and we were roped in.

Let the little fairy in you fly!