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Terfel is demon barber at Royal Festival Hall

Published 17 April 2008

Welsh opera singer Bryn Terfel is to sing the title role of Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street in a dramatised concert at the Royal Festival Hall from 5-7 July, which forms part of the Southbank Centre’s celebrations for the opening of the refurbished venue.

Terfel, who has previously sung the role with the Chicago Lyric Opera, makes his UK debut in Stephen Sondheim’s operatic musical alongside Maria Friedman as Mrs Lovett. They are directed by David Freeman, with music by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, one of the Southbank Centre’s resident orchestras.

The famous baritone made his stage debut with the Welsh National Opera in 1990 and since then has played numerous operatic roles around the world, including Figaro in The Marriage Of Figaro, Wotan in Wagner’s Ring Cycle and the title roles in Falstaff and The Flying Dutchman.

Sondheim’s gruesome musical thriller, which premiered on Broadway in 1979, follows the vengeful barber Sweeney Todd as he takes his murderous revenge on the people of Victorian London, helped by pie-maker Mrs Lovett. The darkly comic musical has had numerous adaptations in London, most recently John Doyle’s Watermill production which played at Trafalgar Studio 1 in 2004. A film adaptation of the musical is currently underway, with Johnny Depp stepping into Todd’s macabre shoes.

CB

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