Brokeback Mountain Opera To Open In Spain

Brokeback Mountain Opera To Open In Spain

An opera of the Oscar-winning tale of two cowboys who fall in love has its world premiere in Madrid this week.

Directed by Ang Lee, the film Brokeback Mountain, based on a short story by Annie Proulx, caused controversy when it was first released.

Heath Ledger played Ennis Del Mar in the 2005 film, which is set in Wyoming from 1963, alongside Jake Gyllenhaal as Jack Twist.

But Proulx told the Associated Press she "rejoiced" when composer Charles Wuorinen asked her to write the libretto for the opera.

She said she knew it "would give room, which the short story did not, and which the film was not particularly interested in doing," to open up the characters involved in the doomed love affair.

Wuorinen said he tried to give the menacing nature of the rugged Wyoming landscape a greater presence in the opera than in the short story and cinematic versions.

"It is very beautiful as the film shows, but it is definitely not sentimental, it is not a romantic landscape, it's a deadly one - it's dangerous," he said.

Canadian bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch, who appears as Del Mar: "The music is very challenging, there's no question about that."

Love scenes between Del Mar and Twist, performed by American tenor Tom Randle are depicted discreetly on the opera's minimalist stage, where the starkness of the mountain is presented as a looming projection onto a white background.

The work is in English and premieres at Madrid's Teatro Real opera house on Tuesday. It will run until February 11.

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