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1967 TEENAGE OPERA TO OPEN 50 YEARS ON

1967 TEENAGE OPERA TO OPEN 50 YEARS ON

London, July 2017: Youth Music Theatre (YMT) have announced the world premiere of the legendary '60s concept work 'A Teenage Opera', the show that was never completed. After a 50 year wait, the original producer and composer Mark Wirtz has teamed up with vocalist Keith West of the band Tomorrow to complete the rock opera for its golden anniversary.

A Teenage Opera
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Mark Wirtz and Keith West in 1967
Mark Wirtz & Keith West in 1967
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Including the classic hit 1967 hit 'Excerpt from 'A Teenage Opera (Grocer Jack), which hit number one in 26 countries around the world, featuring new tracks written by Wirtz and West and a new story and additional lyrics by Pete Gallagher (seen in Jesus Christ Superstar, Buddy, Dr Dolittle), 'A Teenage Opera' is being directed by one of West End's leading ladies Julie Atherton (Avenue Q, Sister Act, Mama Mia, Fame etc.)

Three hundred 11-21 year old talented musicians and performers have been offered the opportunity to work with some of the most established composers, directors and specialists. The cast of 40 talented youths, hand selected from 1,200 auditionees, will be performing 'A Teenage Opera' at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell, Berkshire from 11th - 13th August.

Resurrecting 'A Teenage Opera' from the ashes is the brainchild of Pete Gallagher who spotted the looming 50th anniversary and questioned why it had never been completed. He discussed the idea with YMT Executive Producer Jon Bromwich, as it seemed ideal for their programme, and then set about tracking down Mark Wirtz and Keith West to get the show on the road. Pete noted, "The internet is a wonderful thing - I first found Mark in America, who told me all about his original concept, and then vocalist and co-writer Keith closer to home, who regaled me with stories of Abbey Road Studios at the time of The Beatles and this project. I even found all the kids who sang the choruses 50 years ago! When I discovered several articles asking why it had never been completed, I thought it would be rude not to try!"

Seemingly lost from the history books of musical theatre, A Teenage Opera is set for its glorious stage debut this summer, finally realizing the kaleidoscopic vision of Wirtz and West all those years ago. Creative Team: Music & lyrics - Mark Wirtz & Keith West; Book & additional lyrics - Pete Gallagher; Director - Julie Atherton; Choreographer - Stuart Rogers; Musical Supervisor - Michael Bradley; Musical Director - Joe Louis Robinson

YMT is the biggest commissioner of new musical theatre in the UK, founding Loserville: The Musical, which transferred to the West End and was Olivier Award nominated for Best New Music in 2013. Having trained and supported over 8,000 ambitious performers including Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith and Charlotte Ritchie, YMT are sure to transform the legendary 60s rock opera into the classic it deserved to be 50 years ago.

Performances: 11-13th August, Fri-Sat 7.30pm, Sat-Sun 2.30pm
Tickets: Adults £14.00, Concession: £10.00
Box office: 01344 484 123
www.southhillpark.org.uk/events/a-teenage-opera/

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