Opera sells £1 million worth of tickets in a week

Opera sells £1 million worth of tickets in a week


norman lebrecht

September 29, 2014

Our mole in the box-office at English National Opera has collapsed with exhaustion.

coliseum eno

The phones won’t stop ringing, the internet link’s in meltdown and the bank has been asking if the money is clean.

What has brought on this rush?

Sweeney Todd. That’s what.

Not an opera, to be sure, but a stage musical that is now performed so regularly in opera houses that it may well be changing genre.

Be that as it may, for any single work to sell close to £1 million in an opera house less than a week must be some kind of world record.



  • Dominic Stafford Uglow says:

    Congratulations to ENO; but one run at Covent Garden, the Met or Chicago with the right star will sell this value of tickets within a week easily, surely?

  • Mikey says:

    There is no question whatsoever that Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” transcends the boundaries of “broadway show” and quite rightly sets foot in the spotlight of “new opera”.

    None of it is easy to sing. And all of it is of a tremendous depth. In all of my music history classes I’ve always taught that “Sweeney Todd” was one of the great musical masterpieces of the 20th century.

  • Nick says:

    I am delighted the ENO has sold so many tickets the week booking opened, but I do think we should remember that Sweeney Todd is not just the ENO’s brainchild. It’s the first in a series of joint ventures with two commercial producers, Michael Grade and Michael Linnit. Without their finance and commercial acumen, I suspect attracting a cast headed by Bryn Terfel and Emma Thomson would have been impossible for the ENO. And without star casting, I’d further suggest it would have been difficult to sell so many tickets so quickly. That said, I am equally delighted it will make tons of money for the ENO.