Monday, June 9, 2008

Brokeback Mountain to become an Opera

This is no joke.

I've heard of singing cowboys, but few have been opera singers. Anyway, this is from Reuters:

NEW YORK - New York City Opera has commissioned American composer Charles Wuorinen to write an opera based on "Brokeback Mountain," a love story about two U.S. ranch-hands that won three Oscars when it was turned into a movie.

The opera house's spokesman Gerard Mortier said in a statement on Sunday that Wuorinen had accepted an invitation to compose an opera based on Annie Proulx's short story. It is slated to premiere during City Opera's 2013 spring season.

This would mark New Yorker Wuorinen's second world premiere at City Opera. He also composed "Haroun and the Sea of Stories," an adaptation of a Salman Rushdie novel which opened in 2004.

"Ever since encountering Annie Proulx's extraordinary story I have wanted to make an opera on it, and it gives me great joy that Gerard Mortier and New York City Opera have given me the opportunity to do so," Wuorinen, 70, said in a statement.

"Brokeback Mountain" is the story of two men who meet and fall in love on the fictional Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming in 1963 with their complex relationship lasting 20 years.

The story was made into a film in 2005 which won three Oscars. The late Australian actor Heath Ledger, who died in January this year of an accidental overdose of prescription drugs at the age of 28, was nominated for an Oscar for his role.


Recently I read a NYC blog about turning BBM into a Broadway musical, which I thought not such a bad idea. Then I read the comments. Bitchy doesn't begin to describe them.

Yes, it's ultimately a tragic story, but so were West Side Story, Juno, Kwamina, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd, not to mention South Pacific, though some may disagree.

However, getting right down to it, aside from a short list of tenors, I have seen very few opera singers with, shall we say, the build of a cowboy. We'll see.

And so it goes.

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