Sweeney Todd Set To Thrill

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A ‘killer’ cast meets a theatrical masterpiece in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which is set to play Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from 17 September.

A ‘killer’ cast meets a theatrical masterpiece in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, which is set to play Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch from 17 September.

Sweeney Todd is a co-production between New Zealand Opera and Victorian Opera, created by Director Stuart Maunder with Tony Award winning Designer Roger Kirk and Lighting Designer Philip Lethlean. The productions comes to New Zealand following a successful season in Melbourne in July 2015.

Maunder says that the urban myth of Sweeney Todd is deliciously scary; dark; sinister… and thrilling.

“In Sweeney Todd, Sondheim combines a dark, melodramatic tale with humour and wonderful music. Audiences are in for a world-class production with this very strong company led by one of New Zealand’s most successful singers Teddy Tahu Rhodes and Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran, who is revelatory in the role of Mrs Lovett.”

“We’ve drawn on the best Kiwi singers based here and around the world for this company, including Phillip Rhodes and Amelia Berry who reprise their roles from the Melbourne season, and newcomer Joel Granger who returns home for his first professional role in New Zealand, following a busy year in Australian theatre and television.

“We’re thrilled to have James Benjamin Rodgers and Andrew Glover taking time out of their international careers to return home for this season, as well as New Zealand-based opera stalwart Robert Tucker and the magnificent Helen Medlyn who joins in the pivotal role of the Beggar Woman.

The ensemble is drawn from the Freemasons New Zealand Opera Chorus from all three cities, offering an exciting development opportunity for those cast in the ensemble.

“We have twenty one extremely talented people taking the stage, who together will be a powerful force, delivering on all the possibilities Sondheim’s extraordinary score promises.

Featuring the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Orchestra Wellington and Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, led by Christchurch Symphony Orchestra Chief Conductor Benjamin Northey.

The company gathers in Auckland for rehearsals later this month ahead of the season premiere at The Civic on Saturday 17 September.

With just five performances in each centre, opera and theatre fans alike are urged to book quickly for the stage production the Times Age reviewed as delivering “incisive theatricality and potent musicality.”

Sweeney Todd
The Civic, Auckland | 17-24 September
St James Theatre, Wellington | 30 September – 5 October
Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch | 12-15 October

Sweeney Todd - Teddy Tahu Rhodes
Mrs Lovett - Antoinette Halloran
Anthony Hope - James Benjamin Rodgers
Johanna - Amelia Berry
Judge Turpin - Phillip Rhodes
Beadle Bamford - Andrew Glover
Beggar Woman - Helen Medlyn
Tobias Ragg - Joel Granger
Pirelli - Robert Tucker
Jonas Fogg/Ensemble - James Ioelu
Ensemble - Cameron Barclay
Ensemble - Stuart Coats
Ensemble - Declan Cudd
Ensemble - Barbara Graham
Ensemble - Elisabeth Harris
Ensemble - David Holmes
Ensemble - Morag McDowell
Ensemble - Chris McRae
Ensemble - Catherine Reaburn
Ensemble - Emma Sloman
Ensemble - Imogen Thirlwall

Creative credits
Stuart Maunder – Director
Roger Kirk – Production Designer
Philip Lethlean – Lighting Designer
Benjamin Northey - Conductor

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by Hugh Wheeler
From an Adaptation by Christopher Bond
Originally Directed by Harold Prince
Originally produced on Broadway by Richard Barr, Charles Woodward, Robert Fryer, Mary Lea Johnson, Martin Richards.
In Association with Dean and Judy Manos.
By arrangement with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd Exclusive agent for Music Theatre International (NY)

A New Zealand Opera co-production with Victorian Opera.