Saturday, 12 January 2019

Sweeney Todd – Opera House Zurich

About the show: 

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a 1979 musical thriller with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by Hugh Wheeler. The musical is based on the 1973 play Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Christopher Bond.
Sweeney Todd opened on Broadway in 1979 and in the West End in 1980. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical and Olivier Award for Best New Musical. It has since had numerous revivals as well as a film adaptation.

My opinion: 

Ok, so I’m a big Stephen Sondheim fan (I even wrote my dissertation in high school about him – yes, I had to write a paper in high school). Sweeney Todd is probably my fave musical by him and I have never been to the Opera House in Zurich. 

The afternoon of December 14, was a day of firsts for me. I was really excited. 

The show started with a big scream and the lights, which surrounded the stage made a first appearance. That was really effective and a bit creepy. 
The music and the lyrics of this show are absolutely brilliant, Stephen Sondheim really is a genius. The actors and the choir did a wonderful job singing these complex songs. Bryn Terfel played Sweeney Todd, he was great and so were Elliot Madore (Anthony), Brindley Sherratt (Judge Turpin), Melissa Petit (Joanna) and Spencer Lang (Toby). The woman in the main role Angelika Kirchschlager did a good job, with English not being her mother tongue, but she still had an accent sometimes and something was just missing for me. 

Sweeney Todd kills people on his barber shop chair and sends them down to Mrs Lovett’s pie shop. That could have been done in a more effective way. They just had part of the stage move up and down. They didn’t do a lot with the stage anyway and the pictures in the background didn’t change much. Sometimes the stage seemed to crowded for me, especially with it being in dark colours and all oft hem wearing dark colours as well. The insane asylum was done really well though. 

The audience were mostly older people, who have a season pass for the Opera house and I wasn’t sure if they really understood what was happening on stage ;). The applause in the end was loud and people left happy, even though it’s an intense story. Subtitles were in English and German for the songs and German ones for the dialogues. 

A great show with fab and talented actors. I’m very happy, I went. 

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