This weekend Joe and I took a trip to the Birmingham Hippodrome to watch one of my favourite musicals in Opera form – Sweeney Todd. Sweeney Todd is touring the UK with The Welsh National Opera and it’s a truly gory treat! I’d never seen an opera before so I was a little apprehensive but as Sweeney Todd is one of my favourites I figured this was a great one to start with…and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.
The set was incredible and to musical standard seeping with smoke and living in a grungy 1980’s era. The production opened with the very creepy cast members in bedlam introducing the main character Sweeney Todd. The sound of the chorus together was fantastic and haunting in places without anyone dropping character for the whole production.
Janis Kelly was amazing as Mrs Lovatt as was Jamie Muscato as Anthony however I was a little disappointed with Sweeney himself. Vocally he was incredible but I just didn’t believe his character during the speaking parts which lost me slightly I have to say. This may be ‘an opera thing’ but the other members weren’t playing like this which made Sweeney stand out a little for the wrong reasons. Having said that the cast moved around the stage with ease using every corner and multiple levels, we didn’t get bored at any point…even though the first half was quite a long one!
The murder scenes were so well done and deliciously gory alongside the well-delivered dark comedy in the plot. Some parts were uncomfortable to watch (as they should be) and the production was very raw which lent itself well to the story. They nailed all my favourite songs and we were both completely engrossed – if this is opera then count me in for more, what a great evening.
Sweeney Todd by the Welsh National Opera is touring the UK and you can find tickets near you from their website here!
Have you seen the Welsh National Opera before? Would you book tickets for Sweeney Todd?
Leave a comment below or tweet me @xameliax and let me know your favourite production by the Welsh National Opera!