The Teatro Real in Madrid, Spain is doing an Opera of the Annie Proulx story Brokeback Mountain. The Huffington Post brings us an short interview with the stories author and Opera’s composer, Charles Wuorinen, as well as some photos from the production:
What does the opera bring to this story? The shadow of Ang Lee must be very long.
Annie Proulx: The story is still the same. The presentation is different in every way. It’s a different dimension, adding a new layer to something that does not itself change. It’s as if we were to pile on shadows, one on top of another. We’d end up with something denser, deeper, darker. For people who’ve read the story and seen the movie, this will bring a new layer of
emotion and intensity.
It’s a story about gay love, but also a story about impossible love. Which were you thinking about more –- the possibility of making an opera about gay relationships in our modern era or the pains of love, which is a constant in literature and opera?
AP: Consider what we talked about regarding layers that increase density. That brings the work closer to the category of mythos, and it’s there that the story lives, that’s what makes it strong. It’s been there for many centuries and it will continue to be there for a long time. It exists because it’s old. The fact that it’s also modern doesn’t matter. It has no age, because it’s always been with us.
CW: The eternal problem, the inability to realize who one really is and to take the necessary steps in one’s own interest to reach his or her goals… that’s all familiar, right? All told, the fact that it’s a topic that hasn’t previously been widely dealt with means, for us, that it’s not boring. There have always been impossible loves, because of class, arranged marriages, and other reasons. Although the situation is changing quickly, what we deal with here is something that can still mean the death penalty in many places, either officially or more discretely. In terms of opera, we usually resort to doing things from two hundred years ago that garner little interest today. That’s why, for us, this is sort of comparable to what motivated composers and authors two or three thousand years ago.