Emma Thompson and Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel will play Mrs. Lovett and the Demon Barber of Fleet Street this spring as the English National Opera begins a partnership with the GradeLinnit Company on a production of Sweeney Todd. The semi-staged mounting resembles the popular Encores! series at New York’s City Center as well as regular fund-raising concerts by the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, which originated this production.
Actor-director Lonny Price, long associated with the musicals of Stephen Sondheim, will direct Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s musical thriller, the first show in what the two companies are billing as a major new long-term co-production venture.
The 13-performance run at ENO’s London Coliseum is slated to begin March 30, 2015, officially open the next night and run through April 12. The ENO orchestra, conducted by David Charles Abell, will appear on stage alongside the cast. Further casting will be announced shortly.
GradeLinnit, founded in 2008 by Michael Grade and Michael Linnit, and the ENO, the scrappier of London’s two major opera companies, will develop new productions joining the producing and technical teams at ENO and GradeLinnet’s commercial expertise of to produce musicals at ENO’s London Coliseum, the city’s largest theatre, and beyond. No other plans were announced today.