Charles Wuorinen To Compose Brokeback Mountain Opera

The New York City Opera has announced that American composer Charles Wuorinen has accepted the City Opera’s invitation to compose an opera based on Annie Proulx’s gay cowboy-themed short story Brokeback Mountain.

Mr. Wuorinen said, “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.”

Mr. Wuorinen, who celebrates his 70th birthday today, June 9, won a Pulitzer Prize for his electronic work Time’s Encomium in 1970. He became the youngest composer ever to receive this award.

Mr. Wuorinen’s compositions encompass every form and medium, including works for orchestra, band, chamber ensemble, chorus, keyboard, percussion, and electronics, as well as ballets and operas.

Mr. Wuorinen has been described as a “maximalist,” writing music luxuriant with events, lyrical and expressive, strikingly dramatic.

Currently slated to premiere during City Opera’s 2013 spring season, Brokeback Mountain will mark Mr. Wuorinen’s second world premiere at City Opera; his Haroun and the Sea of Stories, an adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s colorful novel, had its world premiere at New York City Opera on October 4, 2004.

Brokeback Mountain 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. The 2005 film, of the same name, documents their complex relationship over the next twenty years.

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