Syracuse Opera brings Sweeney Todd to Carrier Theater on Feb. 8

The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is coming to Syracuse. And he sings.

Syracuse Opera continues its 2012-13 season with its first performance this calendar year on Friday. With music and lyrics written by musical theater legend Stephen Sondheim, “Sweeney Todd” will be staged at the Carrier Theatre from Feb. 8-17.

Originally written as a play, the lyrical stage show is often marketed as a musical. But due to the piano’s nonstop beat from the orchestra pit, some argue “Sweeney Todd” is more correctly categorized as an opera.

The stage opens with Sweeney Todd, also known as Benjamin Barker, returning to his hometown of London after being in jail for 15 years. He soon discovers his wife’s suicidal fate, and sets out to avenge her death by going after the judge who tainted his wife and tore apart his family. Ultimately, he vows to take his aggression out on the world.

Todd returns to his old profession as a barber above a pie maker’s shop. He teams up with the store’s owner, Mrs. Lovett, to cement his sinister plan.

After winning a contest at the local street fair, Todd gains a glowing reputation for giving customers the “closest shave in London” with a straight razor. But it isn’t long before clients line up to receive the closest shave of their lives — and don’t live to tell the tale.

His trusted partner-in-crime, Mrs. Lovett, encourages the blood bath by baking her famous meat pies using the dead bodies. She sings a duet with Todd titled “Worst Pies in London” as she serves unsuspecting drunken diners the body parts of victims whose throats were slit by Todd’s close shave.

Kyle Albertson, a baritone with a large operatic repertoire and following in the opera world, stars as Todd, sharing the stage with well-known Jennifer Roderer as Mrs. Lovett.

The show is sung entirely in English, and this run of “Sweeney Todd” marks its premiere performance for the Syracuse Opera.

Ticket prices begin at $19 for audience members who wish to sit close enough to touch the stage, and sell for as much as $176 for those who wish to sit in personal boxes on the side of the theater.

For more information about ticket sales, visit syracuseopera.com.


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