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ALT Commissioned THE GOLDEN TICKET, Opera Based on Dahl's 'Chocolate Factory', Holds Special NYC Reading 4/4

Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director of ALT, has announced that the company has commissioned The Golden Ticket, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

In his announcement, Edelson explained that all of Dahl's beloved characters find a unique voice in this exciting new opera. "If thoughts of Augustus Gloop being swept away in the Chocolate River, Violet Beauregarde inflating like a giant blueberry, Mike Teavee being demagnified into the tele-dimension, and Veruca Salt being thrown down the rubbish shoot by a gang of nut-inspecting squirrels sound like your idea of a fun night at the opera - or better yet, unlike any night at the opera or theater you've ever experienced - The Golden Ticket is....just the ticket!"

The opera is already developing many fans around the globe, including Felicity Dahl, widow of Roald Dahl, who has co-commissioned its completion with ALT. "At last after years of listening to mediocre attempts by other composers, I was thrilled to hear not only a stunning piece of music, but a well thought-out treatment for an opera version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I was beginning to think no one was capable of capturing the spirit and magic of Roald's original... It is extremely exciting... I can sense something very special is being created here!"

The Golden Ticket is being written by American composer Peter Ash and British librettist Donald Sturrock. The final developmental workshop of the opera will take place between March 25th and April 4th, 2009, culminating with a public reading of the complete opera on Saturday April 4th at 7:00 PM at The Irene Diamond Education Center in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center on Broadway at 60th Street, New York City. A limited number of tickets to the reading are available for sale to the public on ALT's website ( www.altnyc.org ) for $30.

"Golden Tickets" are also available for $100, which include premium seating for the reading and a reception with the composer, librettist and participating singers at Bouchon Bakery following the opera. Bouchon's acclaimed pastry chefs will be offering up unique deserts and beverages inspired by Wonka's fantastic creations.

The Golden Ticket is scheduled to receive its world premiere in June 2010 at Opera Theatre of St. Louis, in a production directed by James Robinson, with Scenic Design by Bruno Schwengl and Costumes by Martin Pakledinaz. Additional production details and full casting for the World Premiere will be announced this spring. Additional presentations of the opera will also be announced later this year, including engagements at opera company partners across the United States, Canada and Europe.

THE GOLDEN TICKET - WORKSHOP CAST - APRIL 2009
Timothy Redmond (Conductor): Birthplace: Ashbourne, UK. Career Highlights: Powder Her Face (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Mariinsky Theatre) The Cricket Recovers (Bregenz), Gianni Schicchi, Carmen (Tenerife). Concerts with London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. Recordings with Manchester Camerata and Northern Sinfonia. Principal Conductor Cambridge Philharmonic. Upcoming: concerts in Monaco, London, Finland; opera at Covent Garden.

Christopher Burchett (Baritone) WILLY WONKA: Birthplace: Lexington, KY. Career Highlights: M. Carré-Lamadon in The Greater Good (Glimmerglass Opera), Jake Wallace in La Fanciulla (New York City Opera), Baritone in Blizzard Voices (Opera Omaha), Dr. Falke in Die Fledermaus (Piedmont Opera), Masetto in Don Giovanni (Estates Theater, Prague), Fantasia on Christmas Carols (New York Choral Society/ Carnegie Hall). Upcoming: Rodgers & Hammerstein Concerts in TN and KY; Lancelot in Camelot (Ash-Lawn Opera Festival).

Kiera Duffy (Soprano) VIOLET BEAUREGARDE: Birthplace: Darby, PA. Career Highlights: Boulez's Pli selon pli: Improvisation II sur Mallarmé (New York Philharmonic); Ligeti's seminal works, Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures (Los Angeles Philharmonic); Queen Tye in Glass's Akhnaten (Atlanta Opera); Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri (Opera Company of Philadelphia); Despina in Cosi fan Tutte, Tebaldo in Don Carlo (Tanglewood); 2007 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Finalist. Upcoming: Carmina Burana (Milwaukee Symphony).

Abigail Nims (Mezzo Soprano) VERUCA SALT: Birthplace: Delaware, OH. Career highlights: Zefka in Janácek's The Diary of One Who Disappeared (Gotham Chamber Opera); Meg in Little Women (Opera Delaware); Dido in Dido and Aeneas (Connecticut Chamber Orchestra); Beatrice in Béatrice et Bénédict, Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel (Westminster Opera Theatre). Upcoming: Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro (Opera Delaware); Hermia in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Princeton Festival); Night of the Four Moons (Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra).

Jason Abrams (Countertenor) MIKE TEAVEE: Birthplace: Auburn, NY. Career highlights: Athamas in Semele (Florentine Opera); Messiah (Charlotte Symphony); Nireno in Giulio Cesare (Florida Grand Opera/Boston Baroque); Pisandro in Il ritorno d'Ulisse (Greenwich Music Festival); Purcell's King Arthur (New York City Opera); Arnalta in L'incoronazione di Poppea (Central City Opera); Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream (Tanglewood Music Center). Upcoming: Eustazio and Gofreddo in Rinaldo (Central City Opera).

Andrew Drost (Tenor) AUGUSTUS GLOOP: Birthplace: Detroit, MI. Career Highlights: Rodrigo in La Donna del Lago, Belfiore in Viaggio a Reims, Pirelli in Sweeney Todd, Victorin in Die Tote Stadt (NYCO); Count Liebenskof in Viaggio a Reims (Rossini Festival, Pesaro, Italy) Lensky in Eugene Onegin (CT Lyric Opera); Prunier in La Rondine (Sarasota Opera); Bernstein on Broadway Concert at Caramoor International Music Festival, Singing our National Anthem and God Bless America at Shea Stadium and being featured as the voice of Murray on the HBO show Flight of the Conchords Season 2 premiere.

Adrienne Danrich (Soprano) MRS. GLOOP / GRANDMA GEORGINA: Birthplace: St. Louis, MO. Career Highlights: Micaela in Carmen (San Francisco Opera); Contessa in Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Pacific, Sarasota Opera, Dayton Opera); Donna Anna in Don Giovanni (Dayton Opera); Liu in Turandot (San Francisco Opera-cover); Pamina in The Magic Flute (Kentucky Opera); Elisabeth in Don Carlos (San Francisco Opera-cover) Upcoming: Sister Rose in Dead Man Walking (Fort Worth Opera); Tosca (Capitol Opera); This Little Light of Mine (Next Act Theater, Laredo Philharmonic, Tennessee Tech).

Katherine Pracht (Mezzo Soprano) MRS. TEAVEE / GRANDMA JOSEPHINE: Birthplace: Davenport,IA. Career Highlights: Jo in Little Women (Oberlin Opera Theatre conducted by Christopher Larkin); the title role in The Midnight Angel by David Carlson (Skylight Opera); Melanto in Il ritorno d'Ulisse (Greenwich Music Festival); Constance in The Sorcerer (Bard SummerScape Festival). Upcoming: Beethoven Missa Solemnis (The Choral Society, NYC); Der Trommler in Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Greenwich Music Festival); Guenevere in Camelot (Ash Lawn Opera).

Keith Jameson (Tenor) GRANDPA JOE: Birthplace: Greenwood, SC. Career Highlights: Nanki-Poo in The Mikado (English National Opera); Candide (title role), Tobias in Sweeney Todd (NYCO); Quint in The Turn of the Screw (ORW, Belgium); Beppe in Pagliacci and Triquet in Eugene Onegin (Lyric Opera of Chicago); Novice in Billy Budd, Bob Boles in Peter Grimes, Pong in Turandot, Bardolfo in Falstaff (Santa Fe Opera), Goro in Madama Butterfly (LA Opera); Upcoming: Vasek in The Bartered Bride (Opera Boston), Gastone in La traviata and Mr. Withers in The Letter (Santa Fe); Gherardo in Gianni Schicchi and Remendado in Carmen (Metropolitan Opera).

Matthew Treviño (Bass) MR. BEAUREGARDE / GRANDPA GEORGE: Birthplace: Harlingen, TX. Career Highlights: Basilio in Barbiere di Siviglia (Caramoor); Colline in La bohème (Lyric Opera KC, Fresno Grand); 2nd Soldier in Salome (Dallas Opera); Ramfis in Aida (Nevada Opera); Don Alfonso in Cosí fan tutte (Merola, WOT Tour); Bass Soloist in Dybbuk (San Francisco Ballet). Upcoming: Colline in La bohème (Sacramento Opera); Angelotti in Tosca (Nashville); Commendatore in Don Giovanni (Fort Worth Opera); Sparafucile in Rigoletto (San Antonio Opera).

David Kravitz (Baritone) LORD SALT: Birthplace: Boston, MA. Career Highlights: Ko-Ko in The Mikado (Opera Theatre of St. Louis); Handel's Messiah (Philadelphia Orchestra); Les Troyens, Bach's St. Matthew Passion (Boston Symphony Orchestra); Thomas Putnam in The Crucible, Prince Ottokar in Der Freischütz, Cadmus/Somnus in Semele (Opera Boston); title role in Wozzeck (N.E. Philharmonic). Upcoming: Krusina in The Bartered Bride (Opera Boston); Mr. Kofner in The Consul, Dr. Grenvil in La traviata (Glimmerglass Opera).

Elise Quagliata (Mezzo Soprano) CANDY MALLOW / SQUIRREL MISTRESS: Birthplace: Trenton, NJ. Career highlights: Carmen in Carmen (Pensacola Opera), Cornelia in Guilio Cesare in Egitto (Florida Grand Opera), Nicklausse in Les contes d'Hoffmann (Des Moines Metro Opera), Carmen in La Tragedie de Carmen (Opera Omaha), Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia (National Philharmonic), Cinco Canciones Negras (Pensacola Symphony), Alto Rhapsody (Buffalo Philharmonic), El Amor Brujo (New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra), The Deepest Desire with Jake Heggie (University of Connecticut). Upcoming: Sombrero Tres Picos (Virginia Symphony Orchestra), Verdi's Requiem (Westfield Symphony), Guest Artist recitals (Pensacola Opera and University of Connecticut).

Casting for the role of Charlie will be announced in March.

THE GOLDEN TICKET TEAM
Composer: Peter Ash
Peter Ash was born in Iowa in 1961 and studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Michigan, before moving to London to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Although working as a conductor, he continued his academic career and was awarded a British Research Studentship for 3 years PhD work on a comparative study of the librettos of Da Ponte. He has held positions with St. Petersburg Camerata and is currently Artistic Director of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Ash has a wide and eclectic operatic repertoire, which ranges from Purcell, and Haydn to contemporary operas by Berio, and Henze. As a symphonic conductor, Ash has worked with orchestras including Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, London Mozart Players, London Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He has made recordings for the BBC, RTE, Spanish National Radio, and SFB German Radio. Ash is committed to broadening the boundaries of classical music for young people. He teaches at London's Centre for Young Musicians (CYM), and is Music Advisor to the Roald Dahl Foundation, for whom he has conducted many important stage premieres. These include Georgs Pelecis' Jack and the Beanstalk in 1996 with Danny DeVito, Simon Callow, Joanna Lumley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; and Tobias Picker's Fantastic Mr. Fox, with Gerald Finley in a production at the Los Angeles Opera, directed by Donald Sturrock and designed by Gerald Scarfe. He has recorded Eleanor Alberga's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, also with DeVito and Lumley. As composer and arranger, Ash has also written for television and theatre, including The Art of Singing (1997); and An Awfully Big Adventure (1998). His theatre work includes incidental music for a new production of Caryl Churchill's Cloud Nine in Magdeburg (1999), and the Children's Opera Keepers of the Night for Los AngeLes Children's Chorus (2007).

Librettist: Donald Sturrock
Donald Sturrock was born in 1961 and grew up in England and South America. After reading Modern History at Oxford University, he joined BBC Television's Music and Arts Department, where he worked as both producer and director between 1983 and 1992. After leaving the BBC, he wrote and directed The Graham Greene Trilogy for BBC2's ARENA series. Sturrock also directed a four-part series for the BBC, Plácido Domingo's Tales at the Opera and two award-winning television series for IMG Artists and Idéale Audience, The Art of Singing and the Grammy award nominated The Art of Piano, as well as, An Awfully Big Adventure and The Human Face (with John Cleese). In collaboration with an international team of composers, including Paul Patterson, Eleanor Alberga, Georgs Pelecis, Tobias Picker, Vladimir Tarnopolski, Peter Ash and Kurt Schwertsik, Sturrock has adapted and directed a series of musical versions of Roald Dahl's children's stories. In 1995, he wrote and directed a TV film version of Little Red Riding Hood with Danny DeVito, Ian Holm and Julie Walters with choreography by Matthew Bourne. It was broadcast to ecstatic reviews and a UK television audience of over six million viewers. Sturrock is also an accomplished stage director. In 1998, he directed the world premiere of Tobias Picker's opera Fantastic Mr. Fox. Presented by the Los Angeles Opera, with designs by Gerald Scarfe, the piece was hailed in the international press as "a landmark in musical history," and the production praised for its, "breathtaking beauty and imagination." In 2006, Sturrock was commissioned to write the official biography of Roald Dahl. Storyteller is scheduled for publication by Simon and Schuster and HarperCollins in the fall of 2010.


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