Wuorinen: Brokeback Mountain / Engel, Randle, Okulitch, Buck, Minutillo [blu-ray]
Also available on standard DVD
A modern Opera adaptation by Charles Wuorinen based on Annie Proulx's short sorty previously adaptated by Ang Lee for the Oscar-winning film Brokeback Mountain.
Brokeback Mountain marks Wuorinen's return to the opera stage with one of the major works of his career, equally ambitious in its beauty and momentous tragedy. Brokeback is the story of ranch hand Ennis del Mar and rodeo cowboy Jack Twist, two young men who meet and fall in love on the fictional Brokeback Mountain in Wyoming in 1963. Wuorinen says "It's a story of doomed love, in this case a complex homosexual relationship taking place in a very homophobic society."
In a decidedly different approach than the film adaptation, Wuorinen creates a grittier atmosphere. The story and characters have been tightly condensed by Proulx. In reference to the genesis of the story Proulx has written "'Brokeback' was constructed on the small but tight idea of a couple of home-grown country kids, opinions and self-knowledge shaped by the world around them, finding themselves in emotional waters of increasing depth. I wanted to develop the story through a kind of literary sostenente."
In approaching the work for the stage Wuorinen writes "The music of Brokeback Mountain conveys the harsh magnificence of the Mountain where the protagonists first meet. Visiting Annie in Wyoming, seeing the land where the story is set and the characters shaped was invaluable, and it made a deep impression on me. Sometimes the score evokes the icy clarity of the high-altitude freedom the characters enjoy there. But the Mountain also breathes and storms, and the music projects this turbulence as well - especially when it transfers into the interior lives of the characters and their interactions in the human world. And the tragedy of the two principals, their doomed love, calls forth the most lyrical flights in the score."
With bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch and tenor Tom Randle. Staged by Ivo van Hove and conducted by Titus Engel.
Catalog Number: BAC411
Label: Bel Air Classiques
Composer: Charles Wuorinen
Conductor: Titus Engel
Orchestra/Ensemble: Madrid Teatro Real Chorus, Madrid Teatro Real Orchestra
Performer: Celia Alcedo, Daniel Okulitch, Ethan Herschenfeld, Hannah Esther Minutillo, Heather Buck, Jane Henschel, Tom Randle