American Lyric Theater (ALT) will present 10 Family Preview Performances featuring excerpts from THE GOLDEN TICKET, a new opera based on Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," as part of the KidZone program of family events at The New York Chocolate Show, to take place at The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street, NYC, from October 30 - November 1, 2009.
In conjunction with these performances, ALT will launch a national online auction featuring unique and delicious products from Chocolate Show exhibitors, as well as exclusive VIP experiences and themed items related to the wonderful world of Willy Wonka and all of Dahl's fantastic characters. The Chocolate Auction will begin at 9am on Friday, October 30 and will run for ten days, ending at midnight on Monday, November 9. Auction items and bidding instructions will be available on line in mid-October at www.thegoldenticket.cmarket.com.
THE GOLDEN TICKET, by composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock, was commissioned by American Lyric Theater (ALT) and Felicity Dahl. ALT is a New York City based non-profit organization dedicated to diversifying audiences for opera by developing new works for new audiences. 100% of the funds raised by the upcoming online auction will be used to support the development of this exciting new family friendly 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 - don't miss the opportunity to get a sneak preview of excerpts from this magical new piece with your family, or the opportunity to bid on some truly delicious items and support the development of The Golden Ticket.
THE GOLDEN TICKET Family Previews will take place from October 30 - November 1, 2009 at the KidZone at The New York Chocolate Show, The Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 W. 18th Street, NYC, with performances on Friday, October 30 at 11am, 1pm, 4pm and 6pm; Saturday, October 31 at 10am, 1pm, 4pm and 6pm; and Sunday, November 1 at 10am, 1pm, and 4pm. Tickets for each 30-minute performance will be a suggested donation of $5 at the door. Adult admission to The New York Chocolate Show is $28 in advance at www.ticketmaster.com or $30 at the door. Admission is free for all children under five and free for children aged five to 12 with a two-child per adult limit. The price for an additional child is $8.
ABOUT AMERICAN LYRIC THEATER and THE GOLDEN TICKET
Founded in 2005, American Lyric Theater's mission is to build a new body of operatic repertoire for new audiences by nurturing composers and librettists, developing sustainable artistic collaborations, and contributing new works to the national canon. While many opera companies actively commission and perform new works, ALT is the only company in the United States that also offers extensive, full time mentorship for emerging operatic writers. ALT's artistic staff, guest faculty, and mentorship team includes some of the country's leading operatic writers, directors and dramaturges, including Mark Adamo, Daniel Catán, Anthony Davis, Cori Ellison, William Hoffman, Michael Korie, and Rhoda Levine.
THE GOLDEN TICKET was commissioned by ALT in partnership with Felicity Dahl. For more than three years, Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director of ALT, has been spearheading the development of this exciting new family-friendly opera. ALT is now partnering with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis (OTSL) to present the World Premiere of THE GOLDEN TICKET from June 13-26, 2010 in St. Louis. The production will be directed by James Robinson, Artistic Director of OTSL, with Scenic Design by Bruno Schwengl and Costume Design by Martin Pakledinaz. Additional production details and full casting for the World Premiere will be announced later this fall, including details of future engagements of The Golden Ticket by ALT and in partnership with other opera companies across the United States and abroad.
Peter Ash (Composer) 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).
Donald Sturrock (Librettist) 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.
Roald Dahl (Author) is one of the world's most popular children's authors. Born in Wales in 1916 of Norwegian parents, he had an unhappy childhood. His father died when he was four, and Dahl disliked his English school education intensely. He could not get away quickly enough, going to work for Shell in East Africa, before joining the Royal Air Force, where he served as a fighter pilot in Greece and Palestine. He began writing in 1942, when he was posted to Washington as an Assistant Air Attaché, after being invalided out of the RAF. There he first achieved fame as a writer of adult fiction. His early stories were often existential reflections on the experience of war and flying, but later he became known as a fabricator of elegant, subversive plot-driven tales, earning him the soubriquet 'Master of the Macabre'. In 1953, he married the American actress Patricia Neal, moving back to England in 1960 where he settled in Buckinghamshire at Gipsy House. It was here, in a small, dingy hut at the bottom of the garden, that he began to write children's fiction. A visitor recalled it thus: "A dirty plastic curtain covered the window. In the centre stood a faded wing-back armchair, inherited from his mother, and it was here that Dahl sat, his feet propped up on a chest, his legs covered by a tartan rug, supporting on his knees a thick roll of corrugated paper upon which was propped his writing board. Photographs, drawings and other mementoes were pinned to the walls, while a table on his right was covered with a collection of favourite curiosities such as one of his own arthritic hip bones, and a remarkably heavy ball made from the discarded silver paper of numerous chocolate bars consumed during his youth." This was the environment in which he created such extraordinary classics as James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Witches, The BFG, Matilda and most popular of them all, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The Chinese edition of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was the biggest printing of any book ever - two million copies! Sales of Matilda, Dahl's penultimate book, broke all previous records for a work of children's fiction with UK sales of over half a million paperbacks in six months. Roald Dahl died in 1990 at the age of 74. He was working to the end. Since his death, his books have more than maintained their popularity. Total sales of the UK editions are around 37 million, with more than 1 million copies sold every year. Sales have grown particularly strongly in the United States where Dahl books are now achieving the bestselling status that curiously proved elusive during the author's lifetime. Dahl believed strongly in the importance of literacy. He once said: "I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn't be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage. If you are going to get anywhere in life you have to read a lot of books."
ABOUT THE NEW YORK CHOCOLATE SHOW
The New York Chocolate Show takes place at the Metropolitan Pavilion from Friday, October 30 through Sunday, November 1, 2009. This show is part of the international schedule of Chocolate Shows produced by Event International. The Chocolate Show is the largest consumer event in the United States entirely devoted to chocolate. At the 2008 Chocolate Show there were 25,000 visitors, 65 exhibitors, and 65 demonstrations in the culinary theaters. The 2009 Chocolate Show will include the KidZone, an area devoted to young chocolate lovers and their parents which provides fun, creative and educational activities for children related to chocolate.
For more information, visit www.altnyc.org or www.chocolateshow.com.
For auction information, visit www.thegoldenticket.cmarket.com.