Helen directs The Grapes of Wrath and The Magic Flute at Sugar Creek Opera

Helen recently took on stage directing duties at Sugar Creek Opera by directing two productions. First, the fanciful story of The Magic Flute followed by the heartwrenching Steinbeck story The Grapes of Wrath. Both casts consisted of approximately 30 singers, and 30 orchestra members. The conductor for both productions was Bruce Stasyna. "I really enjoyed directing both of these productions. Having sung Queen of the Night many times it was a real treat to get to direct it. Directing The Grapes of Wrath was a true labor of love. The storyline is just heartwrenching and I was able to have an incredible cast of singers that really turned into a family. The bond that we made during that production will never be broken" Helen said. For more information on Helen's company, visit www.sugacreekopera.com.

Helen takes her Turandot to Hong Kong!

Helen performed the role of Turandot with Hong Kong's Musica Viva in December 2014! This new production performed the Berio ending of the opera. Helen starred with an international cast including tenor John Hudson from the United Kingdom and soprano Yuan-ming Song as Liu. The South China Morning Post remarked "Helen Todd interpreted the title role as an extrovert princess with burning anger. Fist-clenching and finger-pointing aside, her high notes were piercing and effective in portraying the neurotic character." This was the first international performances of Helen's Turandot. Click on the sound files to the right to hear an excerpt of Helen's Turandot and scroll down to see production shots from the Barbe & Doucet production from Minnesota Opera.

Helen Todd as Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard in Cleveland

Ms. Todd performed the role of Norma Desmond in SUNSET BOULEVARD this past July with Mercury Summer Stock in Cleveland! A story of a faded silent screen actress who is yearning for that return to the silver screen. Helen commented "I was thrilled that stage director, Pierre Brault, asked me to do this role. She is a very operatic character and it was exciting to play both her tragedy and insanity." Also this summer, Helen sang the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus at the newly renamed company, Sugar Creek Opera, formerly known as Sugar Creek Symphony & Song. She appeared with Michael Mayes as Eisenstein. This one night only event was on August 2, 2014. www.sugarcreekopera.com. This past February, Helen also debuted the role of Tosca with Northwest Indiana Symphony under the baton of Kirk Muspratt. Helen commented that the role fit like a glove. She hopes that more Toscas are in her future!

In the past four years, Ms. Todd has entered an era of preparing new repertoire. This new repertoire includes not only Tosca but also Turandot which she sang with Minnesota Opera in 2013, and Love Simpson in Cold Sassy Tree with Sugar Creek Opera Festival. In 2012, she twice performed the role of Cio-Cio San from Madama Butterfly. And in 2010, Helen also sang the role of Turandot for the first time with DuPage Opera Theatre and then covered the role of Turandot for Pittsburgh Opera in March 2011. After having two children, her voice became fuller and rounder in the middle and lower voice while still maintaining the easy high notes for which she became known while she was singing lyric coloratura roles. Turandot was the first role in the new repertoire! A perfect fit with lots of thrilling high C’s! Ms. Todd is currently singing and preparing roles such as Lady MacBeth in Verdi’s MacBeth, Lenore in Verdi’s Il Trovatore and Arabella by Strauss.

Turandot at Minnesota Opera

Photo credit Michal Daniel

Recent production shots from Helen's 2013 performances of Turandot at Minnesota Opera with Tenor, Scott Piper as Calaf. This stunning production was created by designer André Barbe and director Renaud Doucet. All eight performances were sold out!