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Wuorinen's Brokeback Mountain Has Its Premiere

07/02/2014
Brokeback Mountain opens to critical acclaim
“Critic’s Pick! Wuorinen’s complex score is beautifully made, excellently colored, carefully detailed and coolly descriptive.” – LA Times

Annie Proulx’s “flawless” libretto and a score “so well constructed it creates an atmosphere enriched by its imagination and variety.” – El Pais

“An impressive achievement” “One of the most anticipated event of the international opera season” – New York Times

Charles Wuorinen’s newest opera, Brokeback Mountain, opened to critical acclaim on January 28th, 2014 at Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain.

Since the opening there have been eight additional performances at Teatro Real, ending its run on February 11th.

Brokeback began its operatic life when the former director of the Teatro, Gerard Mortier, heard about Wuorinen’s wish to write an opera based on Annie Proulx’s extradinary 1997 short story, and set out to commission the score. Proulx’s Brokeback Mountian (Academy Award-winning film directed by Ang Lee) was first published in The New Yorker and subsequently in Proulx’s celebrated collection of Wyoming stories, Close Range. In 2007 Wuorinen contacted Proulx with the proposal of turning Brokeback into an opera, and the author signed on to write her first libretto.

Wuorinen, a lifelong New Yorker who celebrates his 75th birthday this year, is the recipient of both a Pulitzer Prize and a MacArthur grant. He has written more than 260 works, including an earlier opera, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, which premiered at New York City Opera in 2004. The work was immediately hailed for its score, able to dazzle any receptive ear with its incredibly broad palate of finely tuned sounds and irrepressible vitality and as a singularly apt musical response (Peter G. Davis, New York Magazine) to the novel by Salman Rushdie, on which the opera was based.

On February 7th a live streaming took place from Teatro Real thanks to Medici.tv. A delayed streaming of that performance is still available for viewing and can be accessed here until May 7th.

A new production is slated for Theater Aachen, in German, next season.
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