The BBC Proms, an annual BBC-sponsored classical musical festival that takes place live at the Royal Albert Hall between July 16 and Sept. 11 and is simultaneously broadcast on BBC Radio 3, is devoting an entire prom to the work of Stephen Sondheim to mark his 80th birthday. Presented under the title Sondheim at 80, the concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 as well as on BBC2 television.
Dench joins the previously announced principals of bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, musical theatre star Maria Friedman and actor/singer Simon Russell Beale. Also in the line-up now are Daniel Evans and Jenna Russell (who respectively played the roles of George and Dot in the Menier Chocolate Factory production's transfer of Sunday in the Park with George to the West End and Broadway's Studio 54), Julian Ovenden (who starred in the Donmar Warehouse's production of Merrily We Roll Along) and Caroline O'Connor.
The concert, which will be directed by Martin Duncan, with David Charles Abell conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra and featuring singers from the BBC Performing Arts Fund, will comprise the following programme:
The Frogs: Fanfare and Instructions to the Audience
Follies: Overture, Broadway Baby, Too Many Mornings Sunday in the Park with George: Sunday in the Park with George, Move On
Into the Woods: Agony, Children Will Listen
A Little Night Music: Night Waltz (orchestral), Send in the Clowns, A Weekend in the Country
Sweeney Todd: Prelude (organ), The Ballad of Sweeney Todd, Epiphany, A Little Priest
Company Being Alive, Side By Side
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum: Everybody Ought to Have a Maid
Merrily We Roll Along Our Time
Sunday In The Park with George: Act 1 Finale
Terfel has previously appeared with Friedman in the Royal Festival Hall's 2007 concert staging of Sweeney Todd, in which Terfel played the title role to Friedman's Mrs. Lovett. Friedman has also appeared in the London premieres of Sondheim's Sunday in the Park with George at the National Theatre and Passion in the West End, as well as a regional production of Merrily We Roll Along at Leicester Haymarket Theatre. Beale was most recently seen at the National in London Assurance, and will next appear in the West End in a new production of Ira Levin's Deathtrap, that will begin performances at the Noel Coward Theatre Aug. 21, prior to an official opening Sept. 7.
Tickets to the concert are sold out. For more details and to listen to the concert live online, visit www.bbc.co.uk/proms.