Rumours that the Hollywood hit Brokeback Mountain is to be turned into an opera have been confirmed by New York City Opera acting general manager, Gerard Mortier.

New York City Opera has commissioned the distinguished composer Charles Wuorinen, 70, to compose the operatic version of Annie Proulx’s short story.

Mr Wuorinen said:

“Ever since encountering Annie Proulx’s extraordinary story I have wanted to make an opera on it.

“It gives me great joy that Gerard Mortier and New York City Opera have given me the opportunity to do so.”

“I think it’s a marvellous idea,” Wuorinen’s manager, Howard Stokar, told Playbill Arts.

After Haroun and the Sea of Stories, the composer’s adaptation of Salman Rushdie’s novel for children which premiered at New York City Opera in 2004, Wuorinen is eager to create another stage work.

“He was very impressed with the movie adaptation of the short story,” said Stokar.

“He thought it would be quite marvellous as an opera. In a way, it’s a good old-fashioned love story.”

The 2005 film version of Brokeback Mountain won three Oscars, with Ang Lee picking up best director. It also won best adapted screenplay and best music.

This year Cuban state television showed its support for the International Day Against Homophobia by screening the gay love story.

Brokeback star Heath Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment on January 22nd, setting into motion a media firestorm of speculation and accusation on the actor’s apparent drug use.

Though initial reports suggested Ledger may have attempted suicide, New York Police Department investigators quickly confirmed they found no evidence of foul play or suicide.

The Brokeback opera is scheduled to premiere in spring 2013 and, like the film version, it will feature a dramatic musical score.

Mr Wuorinen, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for his electronic piece, Time’s Ecomium, is renowned for his powerful music.