Speaking of L. Ro….
Right now, she’s got a post up about the recent announcement that THE NYC OPERA WILL BE PRODUCING CHARLES WUORINEN’S “BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN” OPERA!!! Thank god Wuorinen found a taker. And it’s no surprise that it’s Mortier. Fierce and fiercer. For realz.
I posted a little comment (here), which I’ll include below…
OMG. Hot, hot, hot.
So, a few things.
1st: To my knowledge, there has never been an opera of any significant magnitude (that is, of international recognition or admittance into “the repertoire”) whose central characters (even secondary characters) are homosexual (maybe “Ainadamar,” except that the opera is more about the women in Lorca’s life that it was about him and/or any gay sex he may have had). The romantic paradigm of opera is the male/female love story. BBM: The Opera is surely historic. Politically. Artistically. Culturally. I mean, has there ever been a same-sex romantic kiss on the opera stage? Please tell me if I’ve missed it. Because I hate to miss that kind of thing.
2nd: Of COURSE Mortier is going to produce it. The man’s a genius, and in one fell swoop has already caused NYers to look at The City Opera and think, WTF?
3rd: To put this story in the hands of a serialist composer is a divine choice. I don’t want to imagine how cheesy and gross it would sound in the hands of a neo-Romantic composer. Particularly since cinematic scores are almost entirely derivative of 19th century aesthetics. To take the story out of its cinematic musical context (the music to Ang Lee’s film was beautiful, but definitely popular and romantic) is pure genius. It should allow Wuorinen to tap into psychological/emotional areas that popular aesthetics prohibit.
4th: This opera would also break the moratorium on telling contemporary stories in opera; even in NEW opera. Anything to contemporize the subjectivity of this art form is welcome. As is gay sex. Pretty much, all the time.