Listening Party #1: Sweeney Todd (1979)

Sweeney Todd Cover PhotoI’m starting a series of 5 Zoom Listening Parties, each one focusing on my favorite musicals.

The first will be Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, of which I have yet to see a bad production. Some have been better than others (including the one I was in with Skylight Opera Theater in 1997, but perhaps I’m biased). One reason I think this is true is because it’s too difficult a piece to do unless you have the forces on hand – both musical (vocal and instrumental) and dramatic.

The other thing is that it is just perfection. It’s dark. Oh, yes. It’s dark. But then there are moments of such hope and beauty (The “Kiss me/Ladies in their Sensitivities” quartet is nigh Mozartean), places of both slapstick humor (“Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir/The Contest”) and dark humor (“Have a Little Priest”), that it’s elevated beyond a tawdry story of false imprisonment, rape, murder, masturbation, and cannibalism. (Bring the kids!)

Join me Friday, May 1, at 3pm to listen to the original production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd with Len Cariou and Angela Lansbury. We’ll be skipping a few pieces here and there, especially in the first act. I’ll be giving a little insight into the show as we go along. If you plan to come, let me know and I’ll send you the meeting ID.

While there is no charge for these listening parties, you may choose to donate to an area arts organization. The first organization to benefit from this party will be Third Wall Productions (TWP), a Baltimore-based community theater company, for whom I directed Little Women in 2017. Several of my students have also performed with the group, and their founder, Mike Zellhofer, has worked with me as well.

If you can’t make the party, but would like to contribute to TWP, their donation link may be found here.

Future parties and their beneficiaries will be as follows:

May 8: Ragtime – House of Bankerd

May 15: Assassins* – Spotlighters Theater

May 22: Bat Boy The Musical – American Visionary Arts Museum

May 29: A New Brain – VocalID (more info about that organization to come)

Hope to see you there! All parties will be at 3pm and end before 5pm.

 *(I’d do all Sondheim if I could)

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

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