Cher Public

with apologies to Nerva Nelli

New York City Opera has commissioned American composer Charles Wuorinen to write an opera based on “Brokeback Mountain,” a love story about two U.S. ranch-hands that won three Oscars when it was turned into a movie.

The opera house’s spokesman Gerard Mortier said in a statement on Sunday that Wuorinen had accepted an invitation to compose an opera entitled Haroun and the Sierra of Sissies, based on Annie Proulx‘s short story. It is slated to premiere during City Opera’s 2013 spring season in a production by Jonathan Miller.  Casting for the work will include Ian Bostridge as Ennis del Mar and Shirtless Nathan Gunn as Jack Twist. Sylvain  Cambreling, not shirtless, will conduct.

In preparation for the first performances of the opera five years hence, New York Times scribe Anthony Tommasini has already begun a weekly series of essays in which he posits a moral equivalence between the violent lynching of homosexuals with “the patronizing disdain of the tough-guy [dodecaphonic] modernists” against the oppressed minority of 20th century composers who used tonal methods.

Later in the series Tommasini will explain why the Haroun and the Sierra of Sissies should have been written by Thomas Adès in the first place.

  • Melot’s Younger Brother

    What we really needs is an opera based on “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.” (I’m quite serious about this.) Think of the musical possibilities! Think about the casting possibilities!

  • marshiemarkII

    Gualtier, but I could not get in to read the article as I am not a subscriber….. I love La Amara more than Cheryl, I must read that interview!

    trappole, why could she do better?

  • Henry Holland

    If anyone’s interested, OperaShare has Wuorinen’s Haroun and the Sea of Stories available for download as .mp3’s. If the page with the links doesn’t show up for you, you have to join the Yahoo group for OperaShare but there’s lots of other goodies there.

  • bardassa

    They could have asked Ned Rorem to write it

  • ruxton

    I have to say I always feel uncomfortable with discussions that “out” people’s supposed sexual orientation. This is because a lot of it is just plain ol hearsay and gossip among queens, who like to think everyone in the world is either a dyke or a poof.

  • Melot’s Younger Brother

    My original question was simply which singers were “out and proud.” The rest is nosy.

  • Ruxton at 85: Do you really feel this is quite the right forum for such homophobic drivel?

    And if you feel compelled to espouse such a world-view, you can surely do better that the tired libel that “queens … like to think everyone in the world is either a dyke or a poof.”

    In the first place, that’s simply untrue; in the second place, performers in opera are not exactly a cross-section of the population. They are not representative of “everyone in the world” but are historically, and remain, a very special subculture.

  • mrsjohnclaggart

    Madame Amara is a wonderful person, entirely a delight and a source (off the record alas) of many home truths about an era in which I am very interested, perhaps alone. Evelyn is also a delight and very smart. That means a lot more to me than anything else. My understanding is that the greatest Troyanos, a once in a century talent, was closely involved with Herr Schoeffler, despite the age and cultural differences and I think he was married when they became intimates. She became rather eccentric in later years, which is not a euphemism, I did come across her in a supermarket where she had momentarily forgotten which meats she had come to purchase and was starting to meditate on the value of supermarket meat and if buying it was somehow not a part of an artist’s life before a tour of the meat section reminded her of what she wanted. I don’t care what her end game preference was, she was thrilling.