Stephen Sondheim’s 'Sweeney Todd' from Glimmerglass

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Luretta Bybee as Mrs. Lovett and Greer Grimsley in the title role of The Glimmerglass Festival's production of Stephen Sondheim's "Sweeney Todd." (Karli Cadel/The Glimmerglass Festival)

Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, is our opening broadcast from the 2016 Glimmerglass Festival. Greer Grimsley stars in the title role, with his real-life wife Luretta Bybee as Mrs. Lovett. Listen to the full opera in the player above.

Sweeney Todd is enormously popular as a musical, one of Sondheim’s best-known shows. Despite the catchy tunes, it’s a musical experiment, an attempt to shock and scare the audience. The Broadway musical is based on a play by Christopher Bond. Sondheim wrote the music and lyrics to a book by Hugh Wheeler.

The show won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1979, and has since had many revivals and a film version. Just five years after it premiered on Broadway, it was presented as an opera by the Houston Grand Opera. John DeMain conducted that first opera version and he’s conducting this Glimmerglass performance.

Host Annie Bergen talks to members of the cast during intermission, including conversations with Grimsley, director Christopher Alden and the conductor.

Intermission Preview:


Sweeney Todd: Greer Grimsley
Mrs. Lovett: Luretta Bybee
Anthony Hope: Harry Greenleaf
Johanna Barker: Emily Pogorelc
Judge Turpin: Peter Volpe
Tobias Ragg: Nicholas Nestorak
Beadle Bamford: Bille Bruley
Beggar Woman: Patricia Schuman
Adolfo Pirelli: Christopher Bozeka

The Glimmerglass Festival Orchestra
John DeMain, conductor

Comments [8]

Roux Dauphine from New Orleans, LA

These singers will be doing Sweeney Todd for New Orleans Opera in March, along with their daughter, Emma Grimsley, playing Joanna. I can't wait.

Oct. 29 2016 08:26 PM
Theodore Cerame from Perris, CA

Good pun Concetta Nardone.
For me it has always been primarily about the music sung in it's native language. Listening at home, my room sealed, quite, relaxed, focused, often not even paying attention to the words or the plot, eyes closed I listen with all my heart and soul and mind and not distracted by the antics on stage the music fills me and if a masterwork uplifts me to that special place Opera lovers go. Today's performance did just that. Not Verdi or Wagner or Mozart and such but who else was?
Good listening to you and to everyone,

Oct. 29 2016 05:23 PM
Jennifer from Ohio

Saw this over the summer at Glimmerglass. Wonderful performances.

Oct. 29 2016 03:35 PM
Chris from Otsego County

I'm so pleased that QXR is broadcasting Glimmerglass Opera. I live over the hill from the Opera House so get to see all the productions at least twice.

To be correct the name of the lake is Otsego Lake, not Lake Otsego. It is also called Glimmerglass and that was the name long before the Opera appeared on its shore.

Oct. 29 2016 03:35 PM
Chris bulson from Otsego County

I'm so pleased that QXR is broadcasting Glimmerglass Opera! I live literally "over the hill" from the Opera House so get to see all the productions twice or more.

Just for correctness the name of the lake is "Otsego Lake" not Lake Otsego. You may also call it Glimmerglass and yes it was called that many years before the Opera House was a reality!

Oct. 29 2016 03:29 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Also enjoying this one.

Oct. 29 2016 02:50 PM
Anna from Philadelphia / NJ / Brooklyn

I'm enjoying it.

Oct. 29 2016 02:28 PM
Concetta Nardone from Nassau

Everyone should learn how to cook.

Oct. 29 2016 09:43 AM

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