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Brokeback Mountain opera to premiere in Madrid

image copyrightAFP
image captionThe film adaptation won three Oscars, including best director

An operatic version of the 1997 novella Brokeback Mountain is to premiere at the Teatro Real in Madrid later this month.

The libretto has been written by the book's author, Annie Proulx, with music by US composer Charles Wuorinen.

The story revolves around two cowboys, both of whom are married, who start an affair when they meet in 1963.

It was made into an Oscar-winning film by Ang Lee in 2005, starring the late Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Proulx's original short story first appeared in the New Yorker.

The two-act opera will run from 28 January until 11 February and will star Canadian bass baritone Daniel Okulitch and US tenor Tom Randle.

The project marks a revival of an original commission made by the New York Opera in 2008, when Gerard Mortier was its general director.

Young Vic

Two years later, Mortier moved to Spain to take up the post of general director of the Teatro Real in Madrid and brought the project with him.

Wuorinen's previous work includes Haroun and the Sea of Stories, an adaptation of a Salman Rushdie novel, which opened in 2004 in New York.

In an interview with the Guardian about the Brokeback opera, director Ivo van Hove said: "This is not an adaptation of a movie on stage. The women are much more explored, and the society around them is much more important."

The director of Dutch theatre company Toneelgroep, van Hove has gained a reputation for his screenplay adaptations for the stage and was the first theatre director to secure rights to adapt the works of film-makers including Ingmar Bergman and John Cassavetes.

His theatrical adaptation of Bergman's Scenes from a Marriage played the Barbican in November last year.

It was recently announced that the Belgian will direct Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge, starring Mark Strong and Nicola Walker, which will open at the Young Vic on 4 April.

Tune in to BBC Radios 3's Music Matters at 12:15 on Saturday, 1 February when presenter Tom Service will be travelling to Madrid to meet the production team and cast of Brokeback Mountain.

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