Bryn Terfel to Lead Lonny Price-Helmed SWEENEY TODD Concert at New York Philharmonic; Runs 3/5-8

By: Jul. 08, 2013
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The New York Philharmonic will present a staged production of Stephen Sondheim's Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning musical thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, March 5-8, 2014. Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will star as the title character. Sweeney Todd will be conducted by Music Director Alan Gilbert and directed by Lonny Price, who directed and produced the Philharmonic's productions of Sondheim's Company in 2011, SONDHEIM: The Birthday Concert! in 2010, and Sweeney Todd in 2000.
Additional casting will be announced at a later date.

"It is always exciting when the New York Philharmonic steps out of its traditional role to expand the notion of what an orchestra can be," said Music Director Alan Gilbert. "Sondheim's Sweeney Todd is both powerful and exuberant, and the Philharmonic's performance of this score will again demonstrate just how outstanding a great Broadway show is when performed by the musicians of this great Orchestra. It will be especially thrilling with Bryn Terfel, a remarkable actor as well as a legendary singer, in the title role, and I've enjoyed conferring with Lonny Price about the characters and the role the music should play."

"I am always excited to return to the New York Philharmonic, and particularly with Stephen Sondheim's masterpiece Sweeney Todd," said Lonny Price. "There is no orchestra in the world better suited to play this music, and I know under Alan Gilbert's baton, Sweeney will scare, delight, and thrill Philharmonic audiences with the power of Mr. Sondheim's unparalleled work in the musical theater."

The Philharmonic presented a staged production of Sweeney Todd in May 2000 conducted by Andrew Litton, directed by Lonny Price, and starring George Hearn and Patti LuPone. The production was subsequently released on a New York Philharmonic CD.Bryn Terfel made his debut with the Orchestra in Mendelssohn's Elijah in December 1997, and appeared most recently with Mr. Gilbert and the Philharmonic in Andrea Bocelli in Central Park, a performance on the Great Lawn on September 15, 2011, and subsequently televised and released on DVD.

Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the story of the eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world by murdering his customers and, with the help of his landlady, the romantically inclined Mrs. Lovett, bakes their bodies into meat pies, which are fed to London's avid and unknowing populace. Sondheim's score pays homage to the music of Hollywood composer Bernard Hermann. Highlights include "The Ballad of Sweeney Todd," "Not While I'm Around," "A
Little Priest," and "Pretty Woman."

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd first opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979, directed by Harold Prince and starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The show received eight Tony Awards in 1979 - including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score - as well as 11 Drama Desk Awards and the Drama Critics' Circle Award for Best Musical. It has entered the mainstream through several revivals, productions in opera houses, and the 2007 Tim Burton film adaptation starring Johnny Depp.