Brokeback Mountain, Andre Tchaikowsky
Tom Service talks to the creators of the new opera Brokeback Mountain, based on the novel by Annie Proulx and explores the life of Polish composer and pianist Andre Tchaikowsky.
Tom Service visits the Teatro Real in Madrid for the premiere of a new opera by composer Charles Wuorinen and author and librettist Annie Proulx and asks them how they went about adapting Proulx's best-selling novel 'Brokeback Mountain' for the opera stage. Hotfoot from the first night Tom will be reviewing the production with music critic Shirley Apthorp. Polish composer and pianist André Tchaikowsky is the subject of a new book by Anastasia Belina-Johnson, Tom talks to the author as well as pianist Stephen Kovacevich and opera director David Pountney about this fascinating yet complex musician.
Brokeback Mountain - the opera
Interviewees:Annie Proulx, Charles Wuorinen, Tom Randle, Daniel Okulitch & Shirley Apthorp
Interviews with Anastasia Belina-Johnson, David Pountney & Stephen Kovacevich.
Earlier this week Tom travelled to Madrid to meet the creative team and cast of Charles Wuorinen’s new opera Brokeback Mountain. Annie Proulx, who wrote the original short story, wasn’t completely satisfied with the blockbuster film adaptation of her work so she was more than happy to provide the libretto for this new operatic interpretation. Tom talks to the composer and librettist and the singers Tom Randle and Daniel Okulitch who play the two lead characters - Jack Twist and Ennis del Mar. Hotfoot from the premiere Tom reviews the new opera with Shirley Apthorp, music critic for The Financial Times.
The Polish pianist and composer André Tchaikowsky was only 46 when he died in 1982. His virtuosity as a pianist had made him a familiar figure on the world’s concert platforms. Yet for all his facility at the keyboard Tchaikowsky’s real passion was for composition and at the time of his death he had all but finished his opera based on Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice which was finally premiered at the 2013 Bregenz Festival. Tom Service talks to Anastasia Belina-Johnson - who has just edited a collection of Tchaikowsky’s diaries - about how he survived the Holocaust and became a brilliant pianist and fine composer. Tom also speaks to David Pountney who instigated the production of Tchaikowsky’s opera at Bregenz last year and hears the thoughts of the pianist Stephen Kovacevich who was a close friend of Tchaikowsky.
The Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons has been Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra since 2008 and has now been appointed Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra in the US. Tom talks to him about the challenges and differences of working in America, his faith and how his natural shyness disappears when he is on the conducting podium.
Role Contributor Presenter Tom Service Interviewed Guest Charles Wuorinen Interviewed Guest Annie Proulx Interviewed Guest Shirley Apthorp Interviewed Guest Anastasia Belina-Johnson Interviewed Guest Stephen Kovacevich Interviewed Guest David Pountney