The Golden Ticket to be Recorded

Benjamin P. Wenzelberg as Charlie in The Golden Ticket. Photo Credit: JEFF ROFFMANLawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director of American Lyric Theater (ALT), announced yesterday that ALT is partnering with The Atlanta Opera to record The Golden Ticket, a comic opera based on Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” during the performances of the opera in Atlanta from March 3rd to March 11th, 2012. The recording will be released in the late fall.

“When I commissioned The Golden Ticket in 2006, I hoped there would be a point in the future when we would be able to record the opera,” said Edelson. “When Dennis Hanthorn, General Director of The Atlanta Opera, approached me about producing The Golden Ticket, I was thrilled that he was also excited by our interest in recording the performances for commercial release. Dennis and I worked together on casting the production to not only ensure that Atlanta audiences would see truly world-class performances, but to also provide a group of singers who we are both immensely proud to be able to record. People around the world will soon be able to enjoy The Atlanta Opera’s performance of The Golden Ticket for years to come.”

“I am thrilled The Atlanta Opera can partner with American Lyric Theater to record The Golden Ticket – the Atlanta Opera’s first full-length recording,” said Hanthorn. “The singers, chorus and orchestra that have been assembled are extraordinary, and fully embody the quality performances our audiences have come to expect year after year. For today’s audience, Peter Ash’s keen understanding of opera and musical theater represent the quality and talent I believe is needed for composing and championing new operas, and Donald Sturrock’s libretto captures Dahl’s wit and whimsy perfectly. I am pleased they have entrusted this recording to us.”

The Golden Ticket, by American composer Peter Ash and British librettist Donald Sturrock, was commissioned by American Lyric Theater and Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, in 2006. After over three years of development at ALT, The Golden Ticket received its world premiere at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in June 2010. The critically acclaimed production has traveled to Ireland’s Wexford Festival, and opened on March 3, 2012 as part of The Atlanta Opera’s season at the Cobb Energy Centre.

The performances and recording feature many of the singers who appeared in the world premiere, including Daniel Okulitch as Willy Wonka; as well as many artists who first created those roles in ALT’s New York City workshops of the opera, including Andrew Drost as Augustus Gloop, Abigail Nims as Veruca Salt, David Kravitz as Lord Salt, Keith Jameson as Grandpa Joe. Composer Peter Ash conducts the performances.

In order to raise the balance of funds needed for the recording, American Lyric Theater has also announced a special Oompa Loompa Campaign. “The Oompa Loompas are at the heart of Willy Wonka’s factory, and are also the fundraising force behind the recording of The Golden Ticket,” Edelson explained. “A project of this magnitude requires support from many sources. For as little as $100, we are inviting everyone who loves Charlie and The Chocolate Factory to become an Oompa Loompa supporter of the recording. All Oompa Loompa supporters will receive personal recognition in the CD Booklet, including the ability to dedicate that support to special children in their lives, and all donations are tax deductible. Donations at the $250 and $500 level provide additional benefits including advance and autographed copies of the CD.”

Details about the Oompa Loompa Fundraising Campaign are available online »

Recording Cast at The Atlanta Opera:

Conductor: Peter Ash

Willy Wonka/Mr. Know: Daniel Okulitch
Charlie: Benjamin P. Wenzelberg
Grandpa Joe: Keith Jameson
Grandma Georgina/Mrs. Gloop: Kristin Clayton Grandma Josephine/Mrs. Teavee: Jamie Barton Grandpa George/Mr.Beauregard: Jason Hardy Mike Teavee: Gerald Thompson

Violet Beauregard: Ashley Emerson Augustus Gloop: Andrew Drost Veruca Salt: Abigail Nims
Lord Salt: David Kravitz

Candy Mallow/Squirrel Mistress: Krista Costin Chorus and Orchestra of The Atlanta Opera

Walter Huff, Chorus Master

Photo Credit: Jeff Rofman

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