Now comes word that the Barns at Wolf Trap will offer the Tony-winning musical June 17-26 with a cast of opera singers. Bass Matt Boehler will head the cast as the knife-wielding Sweeney Todd with mezzo-soprano Audrey Babcock as the dotty, pie-baking Mrs. Lovett. The cast will also boast baritone Alexander Tall as Anthony Hope, soprano Maureen McKay as Johanna, tenor Javier Abreu as Tobias Rigg, bass Jason Hardy as Judge Turpin, tenor Jason Ferrante as the Beadle, tenor Norman Reinhardt as Pirelli and soprano Hanan Alattar as the Beggar Woman.
Joe Banno will direct Sweeney Todd, and James Lowe will conduct the orchestra. The creative team also features Erhard Rom (scenic design), Timm Burrow (costume design) and Nancy Schertler (lighting design).
Considered one of Sondheim's masterpieces, Sweeney Todd originally premiered at Broadway's Uris Theatre on Feb. 6, 1979, with a cast led by Len Cariou (Sweeney) and Angela Lansbury (Mrs. Lovett), who both nabbed Tony Awards for their roles. Harold Prince directed the production, which was awarded the 1979 Tony for Best Musical. A 1989 revival at Circle in the Square Theatre featured Beauty and the Beast's Beth Fowler as Mrs. Lovett and former Evita star Bob Gunton as the man who returns to London to avenge the death of his wife.
A recent major production of the Stephen Sondheim-Hugh Wheeler work, which is based on a version of "Sweeney Todd" by Christopher Bond, was the Kennedy Center mounting, which starred Brian Stokes Mitchell and Christine Baranski. A concert presentation of the musical, directed by Lonny Price and led by Tony winners George Hearn and Patti LuPone confirmed the strength of Sondheim's score, which boasts such tunes as "The Worst Pies in London," "Johanna," "Pretty Women," "A Little Priest," "By the Sea" and "Not While I'm Around." Michael Cerveris will play the title role when Sweeney arrives at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre in October; LuPone is expected to reprise her role as Mrs. Lovett.
Sweeney Todd will be presented at the Barns at Wolf Trap June 17 at 8 PM, June 19 at 2 PM, June 22 at 8 PM, June 24 at 8 PM and June 26 at 2 PM. All tickets are priced at $56. The Barns at Wolf Trap are located at 1635 Trap Road in Vienna, Virginia. For more information visit www.wolf-trap.org.