The Demon Barber of Robert Dedman Drive

Here in Austin the Butler Opera Center is gearing up for performances of Sweeney Todd this weekend. We’re doing it with the reduced orchestration, which is truly remarkable – I am always impressed by the amount of color and sheer sound that can come from a small group. It’s a very spare production, no sets, few props, orchestra behind the singers. All of this is an enormous challenge for the performers, but what we’re learning here together will serve them well in the future. The whole story has to come from them. That’s still true when the sets are lavish, right? Even more so when they are not.

As usual, it’s remarkable to watch the BOC get this together on top of classes, exams, auditions, lessons, other performances. And I’m constantly humbled by the brilliance of Sondheim’s text, and by the work of our students from all over the world to make it come alive.

Dress rehearsal tonight!

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