I am happy to publish this audio interview with the very young professional Opera Singer Benjamin Wenzelberg who is one of the stars of Atlanta Opera’s Golden Ticket! Thanks to one of my new favorite composer’s Glen Roven for bringing him to my attention. You will hear in the interview that I am often suppressing a laugh or a giggle. This is out of sheer delight! I was astounded by this articulate, intelligent young man with the Golden Voice. His knowledge of Opera and Music Theory is impressive. I had a chance to chat with his father at the start of the interview, so make sure to listen a few moments in to hear Benjamin! -Lori Lewis
Benjamin P. Wenzelberg is excited to be making his Atlanta Opera debut and working with everyone on Golden Ticket! He performed Amahl in “Amahl & the Night Visitors” at Avery Fisher Hall this winter with the Little Orchestra Society, and was a featured performer/vocal soloist this summer in “Measure for Measure” at Shakespeare in the Park with the Public Theater. He was a soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the NY Philharmonic conducted by Alan Gilbert at Avery Fisher Hall, and was a soloist in NYC Opera’s “Mary Shelley” VOX production. He has appeared in many operas at the Metropolitan Opera for the last three seasons, and in Chelsea Opera concerts. He studies composition at the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College, is a jazz piano scholarship student at the 92nd St. Y School of Music in NY, and has achieved high honors for classical piano performance at the Princeton Piano Festival. He is also proud to have received awards for a couple of his compositions this year and to have made his conducting debut at the Crested Butte, Colorado Performing Arts Center this past summer. Thanks always to Amelia, Tony, Glen, Melody, Yana, Lynne, Lee, TMS, and my whole family for always supporting and believing in me!
The Golden Ticket
The second production in the Atlanta Opera’s 2011-12 season is a comic opera called The Golden Ticket, based on the classic children’s book “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” by Roald Dahl. The Golden Ticket will be presented on March 3, 6, 9 and 11, 2012 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Commissioned by American Lyric Theater (Lawrence Edelson, Producing Artistic Director) and Dahl’s widow, Felicity Dahl, The Golden Ticket features all the sweet delights familiar from the book, including chocolate rivers, inflating blueberries and magic elevators.
This Atlanta Opera production will be the third production of The Golden Ticket since it premiered in June 2010 at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Many singers from the original Saint Louis cast will reprise their roles in Atlanta, including bass-baritone Daniel Okulitch as Willy Wonka/Mr. Know, tenor Andrew Drost as Augustus Gloop, baritone David Kravitz as Lord Salt. Mezzo-soprano Abigail Nims will perform the role of Veruca Salt. The roles of Grandma Josephine/Mrs. Teavee will be sung by mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton. The role of Charlie will be sung by two boy sopranos: Atlanta-native Ruben Roy , and Benjamin P. Wenzelberg . Michael Shell will direct. The composer, Peter Ash, will also conduct. This production will be sung in English with English supertitles projected above the stage.
Benjamin will be performing Friday, March 9 and Sunday, March 11. Check Atlanta Opera’s website for other performance dates and tickets!