Friday, September 13, 2013

Daniel Okulitch to star in operatic version of Brokeback Mountain

Daniel Okulitch in Dead Man Walking
Madrid's Teatro Real has confirmed that Canadian barihunk Daniel Okulitch will star in the world premiere of  Charles Wuorinen's operatic adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, based on the 1997 Annie Proulx's story of a cowboy love affair that became an Oscar-winning film. Okulitch will play the role of Ennis Del Mar, which was portrayed by Heath Ledger in the 2005 movie adaptation. American tenor will Tom Randle will play the Jake Gyllenhaal role of Jack Twist.

Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain
Although no exact date has been announced for the premiere, it is expected to open on January 28, 2014 and run through February 11th. We suspect that the music will be drastically different from the movie soundtrack by Gustavo Santaolalla, as Wuorinen writes in the 12-tone style. His previous opera was Haroun and the Sea of Stories, based on Salman Rushdie's novel. Santaolalla won the Academy Award for "Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score."

 Guitar transcription of Gustavo Santaolalla's "Brokeback Mountain" music:

David Fry sings Wuorinen's "Never again the same"

Brokeback Mountain was originally commissioned for a 2013 premiere by Gerard Mortier while he was at the embattled New York City Opera. When he became the head of the Teatro Real, Mortier decided to revive the work and present it there. Annie Proulx has written the libretto and it will be directed by Dutch director Ivo van Hove.

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