Bryn on Sweeney Todd"I've been fighting to repeat the role of Sweeney Todd, ever since I performed it in Chicago at the Lyric Opera. I definitely think it's a dark operetta, with certain characters who are very operatic in nature and it's a role that I look forward to getting my teeth into again.
It's certainly a piece that doesn't lend itself to the unamplified human voice because there's a certain thickness to the orchestration, especially when you have a full orchestra. But I think that from (the first Sweeney) Len Cariou to the singers who are singing it now, this role is certainly operatic. If I had to perform it eight nights a week, there would be a certain change in my vocal production, but seeing as there are only four performances coming up at the Royal Festival Hall, we can throw ourselves into the performing of this imaginative and wonderful piece.
I love to call it an operatic piece, because there are certain entrances in opera that are just fantastic: in Tosca where Scarpia comes in: Wotan, the second act of Die Walkure. When Sweeney sings his first entrance, immediately, there's no doubting there's a problem with this guy.
I think it will be something very interesting as well to have it in concert format. I missed the chance in New York with Patti LuPone, because I'd had my third back operation. It was conducted by Andrew Litton and he had a great choice of singers, both operatic and music theatre, which I think adds to the strength of the piece. I've been looking forward to the production at Royal Festival Hall with Stephen Barlow, because I think concert versions these days, especially of operas like The Marriage of Figaro or Don Giovanni, really work powerfully within this format. The public can see and hear everything. There's nothing you can hide behind- no sets, no chairs, no tables - it's all about the music".