First review for Brokeback Mountain is a rave

First review for Brokeback Mountain is a rave


norman lebrecht

January 29, 2014

Juan Angel Vela del Campo of El Pais is first with a review of Charles Wuorinen’s new opera, Brokeback Mountain. He calls it ‘a hymn of freedom…. tightly structured… flawless.’

Read here (in Spanish).



  • So Spain gained what America lost through the collapse of the NYCO. Even though the Teatro Real is having problems, they are nothing compared to what American houses face – or I should say the few American houses that actually exist. HuffPo has an interview with Wourinin and Proulx along with several production photos here:

  • Maria Antonia says:

    The opening of Brokeback Mountain in Madrid comes at an opportune moment historically and politically. It’s no surprise that the reception was warm. The supportive opening night audience was reportedly attended by many members of the gay community, who are, incidentally, strong supporters of opera in general.

    Gay marriage is legal in Spain, Barack Obama’s new appointee (Sept. 2013) as US Ambassador to Madrid is James Costas, an openly gay entertainment executive who resides at the Embassy with his long time partner. France’s ambassador to Madrid is also openly gay.

    Spain, in general, is tolerant and accepting of gays, especially gay men. Madrid is a fertile ground for this new opera. Delighted that it’s been deemed a success!

    To play devil’s advocate regarding Spain’s acceptance of gays: as a non-gay female, I have observed that Spaniards are so intent on proving their acceptance of gay men that they frequently overlook the rights and equality of women, both gay and straight, in the process.

    Spain’s acceptance of gay men falls squarely in the male superiority “macho” syndrome prevalent in Spain. It’s still easier for straight men in power to relate to and accept as equals

    gay men over women, be they gay or straight.

    A straight Spanish male can consider himself open-minded and liberal accepting a gay male as an equal, but it is often impossible for the same Spanish man to accept a woman in the same circumstances. For this reason there are gay men who have achieved status in Spain, while

    many women aspiring to the same positions are overlooked.

    Women, straight or gay, still remain fairly marginalized with respect to their access to power in Spain, while gay men are almost universally accepted. Perhaps Teatro Real’s next opera

    should be about a woman achieving professional power and status. I’m sure that would be a far more controversial opera for Madrid audiences. . . .