Leeds-based Opera North will be bringing its current production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd to London for a one-night-only concert at the South Bank Centre's Queen Elizabeth Hall. The London performance, confirmed for Monday 30 March, will conclude a three-month tour of the North of England, which saw the production visiting Sunderland, Manchester, Nottingham, Hull and Newcastle.
Sweeney Todd, "The Demon Barber of Fleet Street", tells the grisly story of Sweeney who returns to Victorian London intent on avenging his wife's (alleged) death. The barber-turned-killer slays customers and passes them on to his shop-owning neighbour Mrs Lovett, who grinds them into "the worst pies in London". Sondheim's classic opened at the Uris Theatre in New York on 1 March 1979 before going on to become an international hit. The musical thriller is based on Christopher Bond's 1973 play of the same name.
Opera North has assembled a notable team to bring this "crossover opera" to the stage. Steven Page, one of Glyndebourne's favourite baritones, sings Sweeney and Beverley Klein plays Mrs Lovett.
Founded in 1978, Opera North is Britain's youngest opera company which has quickly chalked up an impressive programme in the North of England. By the end of 1996, the company had given 2,116 performances of 117 different operas by 60 composers; 439 concerts with its resident orchestra the English Northern Philharmonia; and over 821 other events in schools and the wider community. Other productions in the 1997/1998 winter season include Mozart's opera The Magic Flute and the I Got Rhythm concert. Ring the Opera North Hotline on 44-113-244-5326 for further details.