George Hearn will replace Bryn Terfel in the upcoming New York Philharmonic production of Stephen Sondheim's Sweeney Todd. Production sources said Terfel "has withdrawn from these performances due to his continuing recuperation from a recent back operation." Sweeney also stars Patti LuPone and runs May 4-6 at Lincoln Center's Avery Fisher Hall.
Specialists caring for Terfel advised that "three consecutive nights of performances would put unnecessary strain on the injury," sources said.
The Philharmonic performances of Sweeney will mark something of a homecoming for Hearn, who performed there in the 1985 concert performances of Sondheim’s Follies. Hearn won an Emmy Award for his portrayal of Sweeney Todd after playing the role on Broadway and during the subsequent national tour with Angela Lansbury.
Hearn earned his first Tony Award playing Albin in La Cage aux Folles, a role he reprised in London where he earned an Olivier Award nomination. Later, he won his second Tony Award for creating the role of Max von Mayerling in the Los Angeles premiere and Broadway production of Sunset Boulevard. Hearn recently appeared with Carol Burnett in Sondheim’s Putting It Together. His Tony Award nominations include A Doll’s Life and Watch on The Rhine.
The story of the demon barber of Fleet Street, Sweeney Todd is a musical thriller with music and lyrics by Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. Adapted by Christopher Bond and originally directed by Harold Prince, Sweeney Todd will also feature Audra McDonald as the beggar woman. Additional cast members include Davis Gaines, Neil Patrick Harris, Heidi Grant Murphy, Stanford Olsen and Paul Plishka. The Philharmonic will be conducted by Andrew Litton. Lonny Price will direct. Concert tickets range from $75 - $250. On May 4, there is a gala ticket covering a pre-concert reception, the concert itself and a post-concert dinner with the artists. Gala prices range from $1,000 - $2,500 and are available at (212) 875-5757. Avery Fisher Hall is located in Lincoln Center. For tickets call Centercharge at (212) 721-6500 or visit newyorkphilharmonic.org.