Is Sweeney Todd based on the Barber of Seville?
This is a frequently asked question from Google. Since Sweeney Todd is my all-time favourite film, I thought it would be fun to answer this here.
The short answer is that Sweeney Todd is not based on the Barber of Seville. Stephen Sondheim’s musical was based on the penny dreadful serial the String of Pearls.
The Barber of Seville is an Italian opera by Rossini. While we can’t rule out that Sondheim saw a production of the Barber of Seville and decided he wanted to create a show about a barber, there is nothing to suggest that there are any links between the opera and Sweeney Todd as a musical.