Musical theatre fans are in for a treat when State Opera South Australia presents Bright Lights and Big Dreams, a concert celebrating the great composers of the Broadway musical from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Bernstein and Sondheim. A cast led by Ben Mingay and Antoinette Halloran, will perform highlights from classic shows, including Sweeney Todd, Carousel, Oklahoma!, Candide, West Side Story and more. They will perform with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra conducted by Anthony Hunt. Ahead of the concert, Ben Mingay discussed his love of Sondheim.

Ben Mingay

Ben Mingay. Photo © Soda Street Productions

What does Stephen Sondheim mean to you?

Well, to me, Stephen Sondheim truly is the greatest composer. I feel like a lot of people will probably say this, but being an actor, your goal when you’re singing is to express [things about life and art in] the best way possible. I’ve never come across a composer who has given such a window for that sort of performance.

When did you have your first Sondheim experience?

My first experience with Sondheim I when I was 23 –...