Penny Dreadful: From True Crime to FictionThe Madding Crowd: 18th Century LondonBloodletting: Barber Surgeons and Early MedicineThe Play's the Thing: From Melodrama to Musical
A String of Pearls
Sweeney Todd
Mrs. Lovett
Tobias Ragg
Judge Turpin
The Beadle
Anthony Hope
Adolfo Pirelli
Beggar Woman
Stephen Sondheim
San Francisco Symphony
Ellen M. Krass Productions
Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street in Concert
Adolfo Pirelli
Click for RealAudio Audio clip: The Contest. Requires RealAudio

Adolfo Pirelli does not appear in early versions of the Sweeney Todd legend. Christopher Bond invented this quack barber-surgeon to give Sweeney a way to show off his barbering prowess. Later in the play, Pirelli, a corrupt and contemptible inhabitant of London (like so many of the characters), tries to blackmail Sweeney, setting off the demon barber's killing spree. Pirelli is also the inspiration for (and presumably the initial filling of) Mrs. Lovett's meat pies.

Stanford Olsen

Photo of Stanford OlsenStanford Olsen, who made his San Francisco Symphony debut in 1998 in Carmina Burana, gave his most recent SFS performances in June of 2001, in the Mozart Requiem. He appears regularly at the Metropolitan Opera, where he made his debut on an hour's notice as Arturo in I Puritani opposite Joan Sutherland, and with San Francisco Opera, La Scala Milan, Netherlands Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Theatre du Chatelet, Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels, Houston Grand Opera and Santa Fe Opera. His recordings include the 1992 Alice Tully Hall Recital (Musical Heritage Society), Rossini's Tancredi (Naxos), Carmina Burana (Decca), Bach's Saint Matthew Passion (Philips) and Dvorak's Stabat mater (Robert Shaw's final recording, on Telarc). Mr. Olsen won the 1986 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and the 1989 Walter W. Naumber Award and has also received awards from the Richard Tucker and Eleanor Steber foundations.

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