Changes to restrictions in SA means more fans can enjoy a night out, as State Opera confirms it will increase audience capacity to 75% (unmasked) for the up coming season of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at Her Majesty’s Theatre from 8-15 May.
Stuart Maunder, State Opera’s Artistic Director and the Theatrical Director of the production says “We’re delighted that these changes mean more people will get the opportunity to see this glorious production of Sweeney Todd in the magnificent Her Majesty’s Theatre”.
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. Even Hollywood has tackled the gruesome tale in the hands of gothic master Tim Burton.
“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 often 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, he recently starred in Carousel for State Opera in March 2021 to rave reviews.
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. Mat Verevis (The Voice, Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) joins the cast as Tobias Ragg. 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 Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the chorus of State Opera South Australia and at Her Majesty’s Theatre.