Everyone’s favorite angst-ridden gay cowboys are getting new life when an avant-garde Brokeback Mountain opera premieres in Madrid later this month. Brokeback was previously adapted into an Oscar-winning film in 2005 by Ang Lee, and the opera is the work of composer Charles Wuorinen and author Annie Proulx, who penned the original “Brokeback” short story and contributed the new show’s libretto.
According to BroadwayWorld.com, 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.”
The show stars Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and American tenor Tom Randle as closeted lovers Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, roles played in the 2005 film by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. “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 new production, which premieres at the Teatro Real on January 28, was originally commissioned by the now-defunct New York City Opera but was abandoned after the resignation of NYCO director Gerard Mortier, who brought it to the Teatro Real.