Canadian opera singer Daniel Okulitch is adding a brand new role to his repertoire, with the Calgary-raised bass baritone starring in the opera version of Brokeback Mountain.

Okulitch, who was born in Ottawa, stars as Ennis Del Mar opposite American tenor Tom Randle (as Jack Twist) in the production, which has its world premiere Jan. 28 at Madrid's Teatro Real.

Okulitch rose to international fame in Baz Luhrmann's Tony-winning Broadway production of La Bohème and is known for his performances in Mozart's operas. He has also developed a reputation for contemporary roles, including starring in opera adaptations of David Cronenberg's The Fly and the death row story Dead Man Walking.

Based on the 1997 short story by Annie Proulx, the Brokeback Mountain opera adapts the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer's tale of a complex, same-sex love affair between two Wyoming cowboys.

The new, two-act production features a libretto by Proulx and music by American composer Charles Wuorinen. It runs in Madrid until Feb. 11.

Proulx's story previously inspired the 2005 Oscar-winning film Brokeback Mountain. Directed by Ang Lee and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger, the acclaimed drama was filmed in Kananaskis Country and other locations in Alberta.