An operatic adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, Annie Proulx’s short story which also inspired the 2005 film, is set to open at Madrid’s Teatro Real later this month.
In case you're having difficulty fully comprehending this news, let's repeat: Brokeback Mountain has been reinvented as an opera.
I'm sure you have some questions, such as: How do you bring a story that's set in the American wilderness onto the stage?
Composer Charles Wuorinen completed the opera in 2012 after exploring the Wyoming mountains with the author Annie Proulx, who also wrote the libretto for the opera.
Wuorinen and Proulx wanted to take a different approach, making several changes from the original story:
Wuorinen creates a grittier atmosphere. The story and characters have been tightly condensed by Proulx, a ghost and a chorus have been added, and nature itself introduced as the underlying element of the narrative. 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.
Will the actors stepping into the iconic roles live up to the perfection of Heath Ledger and Toby Maguire?
A taste of Daniel Okulitch:
And the enchanting Thomas Randle:
Will the new production be as agonizingly heartbreaking as the original story?
It's an opera, of course it will be.
If this all sounds strange, just take a moment to remember that an opera about Anna Nicole Smith actually exists.
If you happen to be in Madrid, buy tickets here.
Correction: Jake Gyllenhaal played Jack Twist in Brokeback Mountain. An earlier version of this post listed Tobey Mcguire, who is equally as good-looking.