The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
A Musical Thriller
Music and Lyrics by STEPHEN SONDHEIM
Book by HUGH WHEELER
Presented by STATE OPERA SOUTH AUSTRALIA
2 DECEMBER 2020: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd, is back in rip-roaring form next year at Her Majesty’s Theatre. State Opera South Australia has today confirmed that the much-anticipated musical thriller, originally scheduled for 2020 but postponed due to COVID, will take to the stage for six performances in May 2021.
Stuart Maunder, State Opera’s Artistic Director and the Theatrical Director of the production says “We promised we would get Sweeney Todd back on stage as soon as we could, and I am just delighted to say that a full season of the show will go ahead at Her Majesty’s in May”.
With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd is a multi-award-winning musical thriller about love, greed, revenge, and pies. Its complex characters and magnificent music have made it part of the repertoire of many great performers and companies since its premiere in 1979, including its acclaimed New York Philharmonic concert cast of; Bryn Terfyl, Emma Thompson, Phillip Quast and Audra McDonald.
“From the first words ‘attend the tale of Sweeney Todd’ we know we are in for a ‘fright night’. This is a period piece, an allegory, a legend, a ‘tale’ that has oft been told across the generations, an urban myth, a cautionary tale … and it’s deliciously scary; dark, sinister… and thrilling.” Stuart Maunder said.
Portraying Todd, the barber driven by vengeance, is Ben Mingay – former tradie turned international musical theatre performer. Known for his powerhouse presence and rich voice, and even more for his portrayal of complex characters, he also stars in Carousel for State Opera in March 2021.
Rounding out the murderous duo is soprano Antoinette Halloran as Mrs Lovett, the owner of the best pie shop in London. She is reprising the role that she has played to acclaim in Australia and New Zealand alongside Mingay and Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
Desiree Frahn plays Johanna Barker, the young ward of Judge Turpin (Douglas McNicol), and Nicholas Cannon her love Anthony Hope. The production, originally created by Maunder for Victorian Opera has enjoyed rapturous receptions in Melbourne, Auckland, Wellington and Perth.
Maunder says “The piece is without doubt one of the most powerful, dramatic, and theatrical horror tales ever set to music. And all the more thrilling in that for all its melodrama, blood and gore it tells a very universal human story: Revenge, obsession and lust, yes, but also pain, yearning, even love.”
Anthony Hunt conducts an all-star Australian cast, with the Chorus of State Opera South Australia and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra at Her Majesty’s Theatre. ENDS.