“You can’t imagine the rapture in store…” Tobias exclaimed, which character was magnificently sung by Michael Kuhn, at the beginning of Act II during Opera Omaha’s production of Sweeney Todd last night at the Orpheum Theatre. Firstly, I agree with Toby. The show was rapturous. Secondly, and frankly, Kuhn was part of a 4-way-tie with lighting designer, Pablo Santiago, the Omaha Symphony itself, and the Opera Omaha Chorus, in their apparent race to steal the show.
Kuhn’s voice, authenticity, tangible emotion, and did I mention his voice!!!... as he portrayed Tobias Ragg, were a hearty jewel in the production’s crown. Every show should be so lucky as to have Kuhn’s clear and evocative instrument and personae woven into its tapestry.
The Omaha Symphony, under the direction of Conductor, Hal France, was at its best. Sweeney is an orchestral feast both melodically and texturally. Under France’s baton the audience left quizzically-full for having just watched a 3-hour epic metaphor on comically-accidental-cannibalism.