Houston Arts & Culture: Sweeney Todd


This is the popular notion of opera, but it’s not always accurate.

One may think opera is all about plus size women wailing away in their Viking helmets, but it’s so much more. I like to think of it as the greatest expression of storytelling through music. I’ve often been told that opera is the Olympics of singing, and as an opera singer myself, I have definitely found that to be true. Making sure one’s voice is heard in a full opera house and above an orchestra without the use of microphones for an entire performance takes a lot of practice, stamina, and skill.

Nowadays, one may witness opera singers venturing outside of the standard opera repertoire and performing in musicals. Last Wednesday night, for example, my husband and I were lucky enough to see the famous opera singer, Nathan Gunn, perform the title role in the hit musical, Sweeney Todd, at the Houston Grand Opera’s Wortham Theater. Sought after by all of the major opera houses for his luscious voice and hunky good looks, it was such a rare treat to watch Gunn perform as the menacing butcher of Fleet Street at the Houston Grand.

Sweeney Todd, showing at the Houston Grand Opera’s Wortham Theater.


Another incredible opera singer, dramatic soprano Susan Bullock, plays Sweeney Todd’s partner in crime, Mrs. Lovett, and will keep you laughing till your sides hurt. The story captivates a wide variety of audiences, and has something for everybody. A thrilling production filled with comedy, vengeance, romance, and a little gore really makes it a show to remember. Even my husband couldn’t stop talking about the performance!

To learn more about the story and to purchase your tickets online before they sell out, go to https://www.houstongrandopera.org. But hurry, because there are only THREE performances left! Get your tickets while you still can.