FIRST LOOK: Brokeback Mountain Opera

1.16.2014

By Jerry Portwood

These rehearsal photos show the male leads who play Jack & Ennis in the Teatro Real production in Madrid

Photography © Javier del Real / Teatro Real

Late last year, we spoke with composer Charles Wuorinen and writer Annie Proulx about their collaboration on the upcoming opera, Brokeback Mountain, adapted from Proulx's short story that was later made into a major motion picture.

Although we've only heard a few recordings of the music from rehearsals, Wuorinen explained about his intent when he wrote the music:

"I assured everyone there is not one trace of anything having to do with music of cowboys, not a bit of it, and I never intended any such thing. I don't like that kind of pastiche or some kind of vocal chord that has nothing to do with my work in general so I just write more of my stuff in a way that I hope will underline and project the story and it's content into an extended meaning. The mountain is important, but it doesn't 'sound like the mountain.' There are very low frequency sounds that area very subtle and there is also stuff that is very high registers that I think reflects the clarity of the air and the sky. I'm not a fan of tone painting like that. Because what does it mean?"

READ: Leaving the Mountain

Now, Teatro Real has released a few photos of Tom Randle (Jack), Daniel Okulitch (Ennis), and Heather Buck (Alma) from early rehearsals. Although the artists are neither in makeup nor costumes—and the rehearsals are taking place in a rehearsal room, not on the stage—it's a fascinating first peek at the production which opens in Madrid January 28.

Tom Randle (Jack) / Daniel Okulitch (Ennis)

Daniel Okulitch (Ennis)

Tom Randle (Jack) / Daniel Okulitch (Ennis)

Heather Buck (Alma) / Daniel Okulitch (Ennis)

Tom Randle (Jack) / Daniel Okulitch (Ennis)

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