Victorian production with a twist aims to make Sweeney Todd at least human
By Peter Alexander March 15 at 1:50 p.m.
Stephen Sondheim’s demon barber of Fleet Street is a hard character to like. He is after all a serial killer with a dark heart, but with a production of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, Leigh Holman of CU’s Eklund Opera Program aims to make him likable.
At least a little.
“I don’t want him to appear already as a villain” at the beginning of the show, she says. “I want to see a human being, and it’s not until he learns what (happened) to his wife that we start to see the change” into a calculated killer.
“I want to see that arc,” she says. “He’s an anti-hero that’s cutting throats, but somehow you find yourself on his side.”
The production of Sweeney Todd by CU’s Eklund Opera program, with Holman’s semi-likable anti-hero and the rest of the gory story, will take the Macky Auditorium stage this weekend, with performances Friday through Sunday (March 16–18). The cast and orchestra of CU students will be led by guest conductor Caleb Harris, a member of the Vanderbilt University faculty who is a sabbatical replacement for CU’s Nick Carthy.
Other artistic contributors to the production include set and lighting designer Peter Dean Back, costume designer Tom Robbins, chorus master Jeremy Reger and choreographer Stephen Bertles. In addition to CU students, the cast will include CU faculty Andrew Garland as Todd and guest artist and CU alumnus Wei Wu as Judge Turpin.
Read more in Boulder Weekly.
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Eklund Opera Program, University of Colorado, Boulder
Leigh Holman, director
Caleb Harris, conductor
7:30 p.m. Friday, March 16 and Saturday, March 17
2 p.m. Sunday, March 18