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Ennis del Mar! Il storpi montano splende come un santo altar

“The cast, to a member, embraces every chance…” Anthony Tommasini goes to Brokeback Mountain. [New York Times]


  • 1
    Krunoslav says:

    “Try to re-member the kind of September…”

  • 2
    Clita del Toro says:

    Puccini could have written Brokeback Mountain: Le Fanciulle del West???

    • 2.1
      figaroindy says:

      Perhaps Ennis should have sung “Always Through the Changing” -- sounds like the same ending.

      Completely unrelated -- saw “Nabucco” at Florida Grand last night -- first time I’d seen that opera, and enjoyed the piece a lot. Some good singing, although some uncertain moments. I believe the Abigailles are double cast between Maria Guleghina and Susan Neves. I saw Guleghina -- some good moments, a couple very splatted notes -- seems to be a disconnect to the very top notes…interesting piece, though, and lots of good ensemble/chorus stuff, too. I see why this is such a difficult role for the soprano -- it’s all over the place, and runs the gamut completely!

    • 2.2
      javier says:

      weren’t they in the south?

    • 2.3
      Angelo Saccosta says:

      I Fanciulli, Clita darling, or on second thought, maybe you have it right !!!

  • 3
    A. Poggia Turra says:

    I think Tony T. is overthinking a bit -- I loved the pacing and the quieter interludes. Remember, we are in desolate high country much of the time, to me the overtly lyrical parts remind us that the world and its realities are all too ready to intrude.

    At no time last night did I feel bored or antsy as regards the pacing of the score. YMMV, of course.

  • 4
    manou says:

    OK -- as we say in French I give my tongue to the cat: please explain the title of this post.


    • 4.1
      WindyCityOperaman says:

      (He’s kind of doin’ a take on Gioconda’s Enzo aria. At the Hoffnung music festival, same thing was done to conductor Norman Del Mar, but not sure any of you youngins’ know about that)

    • 4.2
      La Valkyrietta says:


      You have to wax poetic. I think the title is brilliant. Get into a Ponchielli mood, think of Bergonzi or Corelli and then instead of Cieeeeeeelo e mar, go EEEEEEnnis del mar. It’s a Gioconda without Zinka.

      • 4.2.1
        manou says:

        Thank you both -- I did get the Cielo e Mar reference, but could not work out “Il storpi montano”. I guess is a kind of Italian rendering of Brokeback Mountain, but if so it might have been expressed differently. I am putting it down to poetic licence (with a “c” because I am in London).

          La Valkyrietta says:


          I see now what motivated your post, the perhaps violence done in using “il storpi montano” for “l’etereo velo”. I think “il storpi” is fine, it does have the “l ” and “r” sounds in “l’etereo”. The violence is done when trying to sing montano in place of velo. I see why you say it might have been expressed differently. This illustrates how dangerous it is to abandon the “original” composers give us and make adaptations, translations, arrangements and what have you, as something is usually lost. Still, it is amusing.

  • 5
    Ilka Saro says:

    One of the two cowboys is named Ennis Delmar.

  • 6
    Quanto Painy Fakor says:

    Assuming that the music is not going to bore people who might be tempted to leave before the end of the opera, the biggest mistake might be not having an intermission for cruising. What a lost opportunity for potential Spin and Marty wannabees.

    • 6.1
      Henry Holland says:

      When my brother (also gay) and I were in junior high, we used to park ourselves in front of the TV after school for Spin & Marty and The Hardy Boys. I had a crush on David Stollery, he had a crush on Tommy Kirk and we were both madly in love with Tim Considine.

      Thanks for the good memories, QPF!

  • 7
    • 7.1
      Henry Holland says:

      Consensus from those reviews: libretto is too wordy, there’s unnecessary characters, Wuorinen’s music has nice touches but is too busy in that modernist way, the staging is good not great.

  • 8
    sfmike says:

    “…despite the pulsing, incisive performance that the conductor Titus Engel draws from the orchestra.” The unintentionally risqué descriptions just keep coming…

  • 9
    operaassport says:

    Oh, Tony, member and embrace all in the same sentence!

  • 10
    m. p. arazza says:

    ”As of now, the only definite plans to present “Brokeback Mountain” elsewhere are for a new production at Theater Aachen, in Germany.”

    No doubt this has been amply pointed out, but I can’t help thinking that Levine has actually been a champion of Wuorinen’s music, no? We’re not talking about Nico Muhly here. (And Wuorinen, I see, even wrote a birthday piece, “Praegustatum for James Levine.”) I’m not sure why I can’t easily imagine Levine conducting “Brokeback” at the Met, but stranger things have happened…

  • 11
    Camille says:

    I must applaud TT, for once, for not including among his ‘members’ his old fallback standup guys, “husky, dusky, earthy, & strapping”. Mebbe I’d better proofread to see if I missed them for I find it fairly incomprehensible he hasn’t employed them guys.

    Quite the most enjoyable review I’ve read of his, in a coon’s age.