MARTIN BRESNICK: EVERY THING MUST GO
"Falling" performed by Abigail Nims, mezzo-soprano and Wei-Yi Yang, piano
Most of the music on this recording honors artists whose works are going or have gone, and each work is either a song or composition in the lyrical mode. The compositions celebrate the work of departed masters Yehuda Amichai, György Ligeti, Johannes Brahms and Willie Dixon (among others) and the title honors the last album recorded by Walter Becker and Donald Fagin of Steely Dan. The distinguished American composer Martin Bresnick s compositions are performed throughout the world and he is the recipient of many prizes and commissions including The Rome Prize, The Berlin Prize and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among many others. Recognized as in influential composition teacher, Martin Bresnick is a member of the faculty at Yale University s School of Music.
PETER ASH: THE GOLDEN TICKET
Role of Veruca Salt performed by Abigail Nims, mezzo-soprano
The Golden Ticket, a comic opera based on Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was commissioned by American Lyric Theater and Felicity Dahl from American composer Peter Ash and British librettist Donald Sturrock. Dahl's fantastic imagination is vividly brought to life in the witty libretto, and the completely original score ingeniously parodies many traditional operatic conventions to help portray the bigger than life characters that inhabit Wonka's world. The opera premiered in 2010 at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, in partnership with Ireland's Wexford Festival Opera and New York's American Lyric Theater, where it was embraced by audiences and critics alike: "Author Roald Dahl wrote many memorable creations, but Charlie and the Chocolate Factory stands out in particular for its inventiveness, sly wit and marvelous cast of characters. The Golden Ticket, by composer Peter Ash and librettist Donald Sturrock, does Willy Wonka & Co. justice... There aren't that many new operas designed to make the audience laugh out loud. Ticket ... does just that and with honest, sweet humor combining ingenious music that neatly parodies assorted operatic clichés and a clever libretto that has fun with Dahl's delicious morality play."-- St. Louis Post Dispatch "Donald Sturrock's libretto captures the wit, wizardry and wonder of Dahl's story about five children who gain access to the legendary Willy Wonka s confectionery establishment in a contest by finding golden tickets in their chocolates. The largely expository first act introduces the lucky children, who instantly become media darlings, but the fun really begins and the dramatic tempo accelerates in Act 2 when they go through trials not unlike reality television or perhaps as children in the audience may someday recognise The Magic Flute, overseen by Wonka with Sarastro-like benevolence and fearsomeness.... Though not widely known, the American composer Ash has produced a fun-filled score with a zippy, contemporary ambience that makes room for a tune or two you can remember and deft allusions to past operas..."--London Financial Times "...a fanciful tale meets theater of the absurd meets opera. Sturrock's libretto bubbles along with fun rhyming couplets, and the music is surprisingly sophisticated."--Dallas Morning News "New operas that can be shared and enjoyed by the entire family have been pitifully scarce since Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors debuted on television in 1951. The Golden Ticket, based on Roald Dahl's subversive children's story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, fills that gaping void with a deliciously droll fantasy kids will cheer (and did at the performance I attended) and adults can savor without risking tooth decay."--The Chicago Tribune This recording is taken from a live performance of The Golden Ticket at The Atlanta Opera in March 2012, conducted by composer Peter Ash, with a stellar cast including Daniel Okulitch in the role of Willy Wonka and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg as Charlie. The Atlanta Journal Constitution declared, "There may come a day when music teachers everywhere will use characters from The Golden Ticket to teach lessons about voices in opera... For parents and teachers who want to introduce young people to the opera, The Golden Ticket is a good start." But, The Golden Ticket is not just for children - it's an opera for everyone who is still young at heart!