“Brokeback Mountain” Opera Making Its U.S. Debut In 2018

Charles Wuorinen's adaptation comes to Lincoln Center.

After a successful run in Madrid in 2014, an opera adaptation of Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain will make its U.S. premiere at Lincoln Center in 2018.

brokeback mountain
Focus Features

New York City Opera will mount the production, created by composer Charles Wuorinen and author Annie Proulx, who penned the original “Brokeback” short story and contributed the new show’s libretto.

“It’s a story of doomed love, in this case a complex homosexual relationship taking place in a very homophobic society,” says Wuorinen, who is openly gay.

The stage version is grittier than the film, with tighter characterizations and the addition of a ghost and a chorus. “Wuorinen’s score evokes the mountains with its swells and strains, bringing to life the harshly imposing Wyoming landscape from which the story was born,” wrote Broadway World.

NYCO originally commissioned the work, but when the company declared bankruptcy in 2013, the company’s director, Gerard Mortier, took it to Madrid’s Teatro Real. Other productions announced for the revived company include Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, Italo Montemezzi’s L’Amore dei Tre Re and a new production, Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, by Jose “Pepe” Martinez.

The Lincoln Center’s Brokeback will be conducted by Kazem Abdulla, though principal performers have yet to be announced.

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.
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