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‘Brokeback Mountain’ takes to stage

New York City Opera commissions opera

New York City Opera has commissioned Charles Wuorinen to compose an opera based on Annie Proulx’s short story “Brokeback Mountain,” which was adapted into the 2005 film.

Slated to premiere in the 2013 spring season, the work will be Pulitzer-winning composer Wuorinen’s second commission for City Opera, following the 2004 premiere of “Haroun and the Sea of Stories,” based on the Salman Rushdie novel.

City Opera general manager-designate Gerard Mortier, whose appointment was announced last year, commissioned the work, signaling his intention to breathe fresh life into the New York cultural institution.

Mortier has built an international reputation for innovative productions at the Salzburg Festival in the 1990s and more recently at Paris Opera. He starts his first season at City Opera in Sept. 2009.

“Ever since encountering Annie Proulx’s extraordinary story I have wanted to make an opera on it,” said Wuorinen. “It gives me great joy that Gerard Mortier and New York City Opera have given me the opportunity to do so.”

“Brokeback Mountain” chronicles the 25-year relationship between ranch hand Ennis del Mar and cowboy Jack Twist, who meet and fall in love in the early 1960s.

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