A Little Night Music returns to Leeds Playhouse

A Little Night Music, Sondheim’s acerbic musical romance, is set to beguile audiences once more this summer as it makes a welcome return to the Leeds Playhouse stage.

Bringing together opera singers, musical theatre talent and the Chorus of Opera North, the show is heart-warming and heart-breaking in equal measure. A chance meeting between ex-lovers sparks a game of romantic musical chairs over a weekend in the country, as some hopelessly mismatched couples find themselves confronted by their own vanities and deceptions. Glittering with wit, Sondheim’s much-loved work features a host of musical treats including the poignant classic ‘Send in the Clowns’.

Leeds Playhouse’s Artistic Director James Brining returns to direct, having worked on the show previously, as well as directing the two Leeds-based companies’ celebrated 2016 production of Sondheim’s Into the Woods: “I think A Little Night Music is about making the most of our life, it’s about making the most of the people you care most about, it’s about making decisions that feel risky but are also the most rewarding. It’s moving, but it’s also really great fun.”

Another veteran of the piece is Dutch baritone Quirijn de Lang who revisits the role of Fredrik Egerman: “Relationships are messy, but that’s what makes us human, and Sondheim is a genius at putting that onto the stage.” Singing Fredrik’s old flame Desiree Armfeldt will be Sandra Piques Eddy: A Little Night Music is brilliant, because it’s so light-hearted, but then you get socked in the gut, and it’s absolutely glorious.”

An Opera North favourite of even longer standing, Dame Josephine Barstow returns to cast a sardonic eye over proceedings as Madam Armfeldt. Corinne Cowling sings the ingénue bride Anne Egerman, while young tenor Sam Marston makes his Opera North debut as the callow Henrik Egerman. Other roles are taken by members of Opera North’s talented Chorus including Amy J Payne as the maidservant Petra, and Christopher Nairne and Helen Évora as Count and Countess Malcolm.

A specialist in American musical theatre whose Opera North credits include Carousel, Sweeney Todd, Kiss Me Kate, Into the Woods and Street Scene, the Company’s former Head of Music James Holmes conducts; and designer Madeleine Boyd (Opera North’s Don Giovanni, The Turn of the Screw and La Traviata) has Sondheim’s country house setting teetering between decadence and decay.

A Little Night Music opens at Leeds Playhouse on 1 July 2022. For more information, visit leedsplayhouse.org.uk or operanorth.co.uk.