From March 4 though March 8, University Opera, in partnership with the Wisconsin Union Theater, will present a special production of Stephen Sondheim’s popular musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Directed by Karen K. Bishop Director of Opera David Ronis, and conducted by Director of Orchestral Activities Oriol Sans, the production will feature student performers from the School of Music, accompanied by the UW-Madison Symphony Orchestra.

Stephen Sondheim, a true giant of American musical theatre, was lost just months ago in November of 2021. University Opera is privileged to honor the legacy of Mr. Sondheim in performing Sweeney Todd, one of the beloved works in his extensive oeuvre. The wry humor of Hugh Wheeler’s book, paired with Sondheim’s memorable tunes and haunting lyrics, complete with riveting orchestrations make for a memorable evening of musical theatre.

This dark, Tony Award-Winning musical features razor sharp wit, and tells the tale of Sweeney Todd, an exiled 19th-century barber who was framed by a corrupt judge to take advantage of Todd’s wife. Upon his return to London, Todd teams up with his new landlord, Mrs. Lovett, a floundering pie shop owner. Together, the team splits open a new way to peddle profitable pies, whilst Sweeney seeks his vengeance in the barbershop upstairs, waiting for Judge Turpin to get a trim.

This large production will involve over 70 UW-Madison students–singer-actors, instrumentalists, technicians, and stage crew–spanning a wide age range, from freshmen to doctoral students. The title role will be performed by Luis Orozco; his partner in business (and crime), Mrs. Lovett, will be played by Lindsey Meekhof; the ingenue role of Johanna will be doubled by Isabel Celata and Molly Schumacher and her suitor, Anothony Hope, will be performed by Jude Balthazar and Kenneth Hoversten. Madison Barrett and Kathryn Flynn will perform as the Beggar Woman; Judge Turpin will be sung by James Harrington with Justin Kroll as The Beadle; Tobias Rigg will be played by Noah Strube; Even Mitchell will play Pirelli and Charles Hancin will sing Jonas Fogg. The outstanding ensemble of singers lead by DMA student and chorus master Andrew Voth includes Christian Brenny, Riley Brutto, Michael Chiaverini, Katie Eggers, Ben Gagliardi, Grace Greene, Charles Hancin, Alec Hansen, Jonathan Henreckson, Corey Lallo, Krista Laszewski, Minseon Lee, Daniel Levy, Allyson Mills, Abageal Phelan, Emily Quartemont, Princess Vaulx, William Volmar, and Eloise Williamson. Besides Maestro Sans, the musical team will consist of UW-Madison vocal coach Thomas Kasdorf (musical preparation), and William Preston (rehearsal pianist). Graduate student Alison Norris will serve as assistant conductor and conduct one performance.

The production will be designed by Joseph Varga with lighting by Kenneth Ferencek, costumes by Hyewon Park, wigs by Jan Ross, and sound by Kyle Spradling. Scenery, Props, and Supertitles are courtesy of Madison Opera. Greg Silver will be the technical director and the production stage manager will be Sarah Marty. Others on the production staff include Teresa Sarkela, props coordinator; Kyle Sackett, operations manager for University Opera; Kelsey Wang, assistant costume designer; Isabel Coff, sound assistant; and assistant stage managers Meghan Stecker, Zak Wolff, Mckayla Murphy and Kaya Sarajian.

Ticket prices range from $45-$22 and are available in advance through the Campus Arts Ticketing office at (608) 265-ARTS and online at Tickets may also be purchased in person at the Wisconsin Union Theater Box Office Monday-Friday, 11:30 am-5:30 pm and Saturdays, 12-5 pm. Tickets may also be purchased at the door beginning one hour before the performance.

Sweeney Todd is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

University Opera is a cultural service of the Mead Witter School of Music whose mission is to provide comprehensive operatic training and performance opportunities for our students and operatic programming to the community. For more information, please contact