Sondheim Returns to London's Royal Opera House with Into the Woods

News   Sondheim Returns to London's Royal Opera House with Into the Woods London's Royal Opera House will follow English National Opera's lead when it stages a musical as part of its summer season. Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods will feature opera and West End performers, including Anne Reid, Beverley Klein and Clive Rowe.

ENO is currently staging Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Gondoliers starring Henry Goodman. The opera company's 2005 production of Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town returns in April.

Into the Woods represents the ROH's second Sondheim musical following Covent Garden's 2003 staging of Sweeney Todd.

Directed by Will Tuckett in his musical debut (Tuckett's Wind in the Willows and Pinocchio are ROH Christmas favorites), Sondheim's musical will take to the ROH's smaller 400-seat Linbury Studio on June 14, officially opening on June 18. The run is scheduled to end June 30.

Clive Rowe was most recently seen in the Natonal Theatre's staging of the Tony Kushner, Jeanine Tesori musical Caroline, or Change. Reid's stage credits include Epitaph for George Dillon and The York Realist. Klein, an original cast member of Les Misérables, appeared in Opera North's production of Sweeney Todd and The Holy Terror in the West End.

The musical is populated by fairytale characters such as Cinderella, Jack (of the beanstalk) and Little Red Riding Hood. By the end of the show Prince Charming, in pursuit of Sleeping Beauty, has seduced the Baker’s wife, and Rapunzel is squashed by a Giant. Lapine's original Broadway production of Into the Woods opened at the Martin Beck Theatre in 1989. The following year the show made its London debut, directed by Richard Jones, at the Phoenix Theatre. A Broadway revival featured Vanessa Williams.

For more on Into the Woods, call (0)20 7304 4000.