Stephen Sondheim

Award winning composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim does not consider his musicals to be Broadway Operas but they have been embraced as such wholeheartedly. Blurring the lines between musical theatre and traditional opera, he has written music and lyrics for some of the 20th century’s most important stage works for voice, incorporating both humorous and dark subject matter.

Born into a Jewish family in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Sondheim showed early ability in both music and mathematics. After the departure of his father at age ten, he moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania where he gained an important musical role model, Oscar Hammerstein II. Watching the success of Rodgers and Hammerstein as a teenager and already guided toward musical theatre he studied piano and wrote scripts and scores during his four years at Williams College, earning him a two year composition scholarship studying with avant-garde composer Milton Babbitt.

Sondheim’s breakthrough came with his lyrics to Leonard Bernstein’s musical West Side Story in 1957. The collaboration's success earned him a multitude of creative partnerships before finally writing both the music and lyrics for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1962. Recognized as a master of songwriting he went on to win multiple Tony and Grammy Awards as well as an Academy Award for Best Song and the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

OPERA America/ Grants Awarded
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Opera for a New America 1994
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1985
Opera for the Eighties and Beyond 1985

Click company name to view productions details.
Des Moines Metro OperaSweeney Todd6/26/2020 - 7/19/2020
Tri-Cities OperaA Little Night Music4/24/2020 - 5/3/2020
Michigan Opera TheatreSweeney Todd11/16/2019 - 11/24/2019
Madison OperaA Little Night Music2/8/2019 - 2/10/2019
Charlottesville OperaInto the Woods7/27/2018 - 7/27/2018
Atlanta OperaSweeney Todd6/9/2018 - 6/17/2018
Alamo City OperaA Little Night Music2/3/2018 - 2/4/2018
Opera on the AvalonInto the Woods11/23/2017 - 11/25/2017
Pittsburgh Festival OperaSweeney Todd7/7/2017 - 7/22/2017
Des Moines Metro OperaA Little Night Music6/24/2017 - 7/15/2017
Skylight Music TheatreSweeney Todd5/19/2017 - 5/19/2017
New Orleans Opera AssociationSweeney Todd2/10/2017 - 2/12/2017
Glimmerglass FestivalSweeney Todd7/9/2016 - 8/26/2016
Portland OperaSweeney Todd6/3/2016 - 6/11/2016
Tri-Cities OperaSweeney Todd4/29/2016 - 5/1/2016
Piedmont OperaA Little Night Music3/18/2016 - 3/18/2016
Opera RoanokeSweeney Todd10/30/2015 - 11/1/2015
Vancouver OperaSweeney Todd4/25/2015 - 5/3/2015
Hawaii Opera TheatreSweeney Todd4/24/2015 - 4/28/2015
Eugene OperaSweeney Todd3/13/2015 - 3/15/2015
Houston Grand OperaSweeney Todd2/24/2015 - 5/9/2015
Syracuse OperaA Little Night Music2/6/2015 - 2/15/2015
Madison OperaSweeney Todd2/6/2015 - 2/8/2015
Virginia OperaSweeney Todd5/5/2014 - 5/25/2014
Houston Grand OperaA Little Night Music3/3/2014 - 3/23/2014
Pensacola OperaSweeney Todd10/10/2012 - 10/20/2012
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisSweeney Todd5/5/2012 - 6/24/2012
Opera Theatre of Saint LouisA Little Night Music6/6/2010 - 6/19/2010
Mobile OperaSweeney Todd1/9/2010 - 1/9/2010
Michigan Opera TheatreA Little Night Music11/11/2009 - 11/20/2009
Central City OperaA Little Night Music7/7/2009 - 7/31/2009
Hawaii Opera TheatreA Little Night Music8/3/2008 - 8/10/2008
Shreveport OperaSweeney Todd10/26/2007 - 10/26/2007
Los Angeles OperaA Little Night Music7/1/2004 - 7/31/2004
Minnesota OperaPassion2/1/2004 - 3/1/2004
Arizona OperaSweeney Todd2/1/2004 - 2/29/2004
Calgary Opera AssociationSweeney Todd1/1/2004 - 2/1/2004
Opera ColoradoSweeney Todd4/4/2003 - 5/5/2003
Toledo OperaSweeney Todd11/11/2002 - 11/23/2002
Lyric Opera of ChicagoSweeney Todd11/11/2002 - 12/21/2002
Opera AustraliaSweeney Todd4/4/2002 - 5/11/2002
Utah Symphony | Utah OperaA Little Night Music1/1/2002 - 2/5/2002
Opera AustraliaSweeney Todd9/9/2001 - 11/3/2001
Skylight Music TheatreA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum12/2/2000 - 12/15/2000
Houston Grand OperaA Little Night Music1/1/1999 - 2/14/1999
Nautilus Music-TheaterInto the Woods9/1/1997 - 9/21/1997
Tapestry OperaPassion4/7/1997 - 5/10/1997
Skylight Music TheatreSweeney Todd4/4/1997 - 5/11/1997
Pensacola OperaPassion9/9/1996 - 9/22/1996
Chautauqua OperaA Little Night Music8/8/1996 - 8/19/1996
Portland OperaSweeney Todd2/2/1996 - 2/25/1996
Des Moines Metro OperaSweeney Todd6/6/1995 - 7/15/1995
Skylight Music TheatreA Little Night Music5/2/1995 - 6/1/1995
Opera RoanokeSweeney Todd9/1/1993 - 10/1/1993
Skylight Music TheatreInto the Woods3/1/1993 - 4/1/1993
Houston Grand OperaA Little Night Music5/1/1992 - 6/1/1992
Opera ModestoSweeney Todd10/1/1991 - 10/31/1991

Artist Information

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