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NEXT PRODUCTION
SWEENEY TODD



SWEENEY TODD
the Victorian Melodrama








Opera della Luna's new production of SWEENEY TODD opens in April at The Theatre Chipping Norton, followed by further performances in London to be announced soon.


The grizzly story of Sweeney Todd first reached the stage in August 1847 at the Britannia Theatre, Hoxton. The show was called The String of Pearls, and from then until the 1860s many different versions appeared. The Britannia, like the Grecian Theatre in Shoreditch and the Effingham Theatre, Whitechapel, where Sweeney Todd was also presented, had permanently employed orchestras of at least 10 players, augmented by free-lance musicians. We do not know what music would have been used as very few orchestral parts from those days have survived, but it would surely not be too removed from the operas and musical plays presented at the legitimate theatres: Drury Lane and Covent Garden. To accompany our production we will create a score using British music from the 1840s and 1850s from composers such as Michael Balfe, Julius Benedict, Edward Loder and Vincent Wallace, played by a ten-piece orchestra, in an attempt to recreate the sounds and melodies of those East End theatres.


PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS NOT A PRODUCTION OF THE MUSICAL BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM

"Heavy-handed direction and terrible nudge-nudge wink-wink translations have over the past decade scuppered Johann Strauss's Viennese whirl Die Fledermaus at ENO, and Lehar's Parisian èclair The Merry Widow at WNO, both of which sank like lead for want of zest and wit. Yet tiny, under-funded groups such as Opera della Luna have been making admirable efforts to keep the old repertory alive. All it needs now is some official investment and encouragement. Arts Council England has historically been snooty about supporting operetta - possibly on the ideological grounds that it largely appeals to middleclass audiences - but a little more help to adventurous companies such as Opera della Luna would encourage more imaginative exploration of this delightful repertory and add a sprinkle of glitter to the gaiety of the nation."

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Opera della Luna, 7 Cotmore House, Fringford, Bicester, OX27 8RQ

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