Emma Thompson Will Join Bryn Terfel for New York Philharmonic Sweeney Todd Concerts

By Adam Hetrick
09 Oct 2013

Emma Thompson
Emma Thompson

Two-time Academy Award winner Emma Thompson will make her New York stage debut as Mrs. Lovett in the New York Philharmonic's 2014 return staging of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, according to the New York Times.

As previously reported, Sweeney Todd will be conducted by music director Alan Gilbert and directed by Lonny Price, who directed and produced the Philharmonic’s productions of Sondheim’s Company in 2011, Sondheim The Birthday Concert! in 2010, and Sweeney Todd in 2000.

Performances will take place March 5-8, 2014, at Avery Fisher Hall.

Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will star in the title role with Thompson as pie-maker Nellie Lovett. Thompson won her Academy Awards for "Howards End" (Best Actress in a Leading Role) and "Sense and Sensibility" (Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium).



 Additional casting will be announced.

The Philharmonic presented a staged production of Sweeney Todd in May 2000 conducted by Andrew Litton, directed by Price, and starring George Hearn (who replaced the originally announced Bryn Terfel) and Patti LuPone. The production was subsequently released on a New York Philharmonic CD.

Set in Victorian London, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, according to press notes, tells the story of the "eponymous barber who seeks vengeance on what he sees as a merciless world by murdering his customers and, with the help of his landlady, the romantically inclined Mrs. Lovett, bakes their bodies into meat pies, which are fed to London’s avid and unknowing populace."

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and a book by Hugh Wheeler, Sweeney Todd first opened on Broadway at the Uris Theatre on March 1, 1979, directed by Harold Prince and starring Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. The show received eight Tony Awards in 1979 — including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score — as well as 11 Drama Desk Awards and the Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Musical.

On March 5, 2014, the New York Philharmonic will hold its Spring Gala. For information about the Gala, which includes a pre-concert reception, concert and post-concert seated dinner with the artists, contact Jennifer Levine, levinej@nyphil.org, or call (212) 875-5757.

All tickets may be purchased online at nyphil.org or by calling (212) 875-5656. Tickets may also be purchased at the Avery Fisher Hall Box Office.