Cher Public

Butt of the joke

“The deep stirrings that open Brokeback Mountain, the opera, rise up from the bowels of the orchestra…. And those tones are gripping.” [Wall Street Journal]

  • -Ed.

    … And it made my tummy feel kinda funny.

    • ML

      You old homophobe you.

  • sfmike

    My first thought was, “No, they didn’t really go there…” but clicked on the link and found out that yes, they really did. Between this and Tom Perkins comparing leftists to Nazis during Kristallnacht, the WSJ is starting to look like what comes out of Rupert Murdoch’s colon.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    Who is doing the PR for this production that garners so much pre-production coast to coast press in the USA?

    • pobrediablo

      Anything gay garners media attention.

  • Quanto Painy Fakor

    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      Will this become the next opera about incest? Can’t wait for the sequel:

      • antikitschychick

        Man, I need to see this movie while it is still streaming instantly on Netflix…and Lifetime apparently aired a sequel not too long ago. Need to see that as well.

  • Sempre liberal

    I thought Ennis (Heath Ledger) used spit.

  • aulus agerius
    This 14′ vid is worth watching. What does Wourinen mean by Mozartean irony? Apparently it will be streamed on Arte.

  • papopera

    chord of B, C and C# ? yikes! I cringe with a toothache

    • Sempre liberal

      I’ve heard that in a Cmaj7(-9), but it’s somewhat painful, although it’s tempered by the Cmaj7, which is more tolerable interval to 20th/21st century ears. But a B/C/C# cluster must be horrible. That full major 2nd interval from B-C# is even wider than the worst vibratos we’ve heard in the past few years (e.g. Gabriele Schnaut’s Elektra.)

      • pobrediablo

        Oh, the delicate Western ears.

        • I think it’s more a case of old-codger ears than “Western” ones…

      • Henry Holland

        *must* be horrible? No. Some of us actually like the 12-note Lulu death chord or the way Reimann uses quarter-tone harmony to get a 48-note chord during Lear’s scene on the heath etc. etc.

        What Wuourinen is doing with B-C-C# is not using it as a chord (though there will probably be chromatic chords using half steps like that), he’s using them as the notes associated with the characters, that he can then build material out of. From a NYT article:

        The note C sharp tends to cluster around Ennis; B natural is associated with Jack. The mountain has its own note, a subterranean C natural

        It’s an old trick, Britten uses it in Death in Venice. Aschenbach is E, Tadzio is A. In the final bars of the score, as Aschenbach lies dead in his chair on the beach and Tadzio goes on being the young Polish god, Tadzio’s melody keeps coming back to G#, the leading tone of A, which is also the third in Aschenbach’s E, before resolving to A in the very last bar of the score.

        Then there’s Scriabin’s mystic chord: C, F#, Bb, E, A, D which can be used in many different ways. The dissolution of tonality had many of those kinds of techniques.

        • la vociaccia

          Is a three note cluster really causing this much pearl-clutching?

        • papopera

          Try it on your piano and run

    • marshiemarkII

      Isn’t that used in Salome?

      • Sempre liberal

        Not sure if there are 3 consecutive notes in Salome.
        I think the main dissonant chord is an A7 coupled with an F# major. You do get an F# and a G and an A and an A#, but not 3 consecutive notes together.

      • marshiemarkII

        Grazie cara

      • papopera

        Yes. During the head scene Strauss uses an organ (off stage) with a deep lugubrious chord C# E F# G# on the words Hat es nach Blut geschmeckt?…….Sie saben………..etc..etc..

    • Belfagor

      What’s the three note cluster that Verdi writes for the organ that underpins the opening tempest in ‘Otello’ -- isn’t that B/C/C#

      As Charles Ives would have said ‘You great big sissy -- use your ears like a man!’

      • petra chiusolegno

        Belfagor, you’re very close -- it’s C, C sharp and D.

  • Ilka Saro

    KY is gentle, compared to the cowboy spit that is used in the movie.

    • Sempre liberal

      Ilka, one cannot not spell “societally-repressed homosexuals” without SPIT.

      Although, I imagine one cannot spell “Kowboy” without KY.

      • Quanto Painy Fakor

        What ever happened to corn husker’s lotion?

      • forthesakeofargument

        HA! Now that is funny! Best laugh all day!!

    • javier

      i know. i was going to say something like that too because i’m sure that cowboys don’t use ky when they’re doing each other in the mountains. ky is for pu$$*es.

      • Ilka Saro

        Please, Monsieur Javier! We do not say “doing each other”. We say “stemming the rose”.

  • I’m still waiting for an epic The Lord of the Rings opera! Who cares about gay cowboys… Give me dwarves and elves and wizzards please or I will compose a LOTR opera myself!

    • Frodo -- Cecilia Bartoli
      Sam -- Joyce Didonato
      Gandalf -- Samuel Ramey
      Aragorn -- Jonas Kaufmann
      Arwen -- Anja Harteros
      Galadriel -- Elina Garanca
      Gimli -- Bryn Terfel
      Legolas -- Juan Diego Florez
      Boromir -- Rene Pape
      Gollum -- Simone Kermes

      • Grane

        Also de Niese as an Elven princess invented by the librettist.

  • Krunoslav

    “…those tones are gripping…”


    “Grip it RIGHTEOUSLY!”

    -Queen Bee

  • Grane

    Yes, they should use the process of alimination to find other metaphors. These are a bit cheeky.

  • Batty Masetto

    I endeavoured to describe the powerful effect of vital impressions on the temperament, how they hold us captive, as it were, until we rid ourselves of them by the unique development of our inmost spiritual visions, which are not called forth by these impressions, but only roused by them from their deep slumber. The artistic structure, therefore, appears to us as in no wise a result of, but, on the contrary, a liberation from, the vital impressions. At this point Berlioz smiled in a patronising, comprehensive way, and said: ’Nous appelons cela: digérer.’

  • Quanto Painy Fakor
    • Quanto Painy Fakor

      I wonder when the Russian premiere will be authorized.