Sugar Creek Artists

Helen Todd, General Director & Soprano
Bio | Acclaim | Photos | Audio

Helen Todd

In 2002, Helen Todd founded Sugar Creek Symphony & Song, a summer opera and classical music festival that now takes place each August in Watseka, Illinois, the town where she was born and raised. Each year she strives to create festival musical experiences that will please the growing cadre of opera aficionados in her hometown, as well as attract arts lovers from across the US and beyond.

As a soprano, Helen has an international reputation for performing the roles of intense and ruthlessly powerful women, both in classical and 20th century music. She has wowed audiences as Madame Mao in Nixon in China at Minnesota Opera, as well as the hysterial Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale at Canadian Opera Company. Helen recently debuted the role of Turandot in a production at DuPage Opera Theatre. Listen to excerpts of her performance here.

In 2003, Helen earned national media attention in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today for her portrayal of Aunt Lydia in Minnesota Opera’s The Handmaid’s Tale. She went on to perform the role in the Canadian premiere at Canadian Opera Company.

When Helen's not tending to Sugar Creek business, you can find her performing at many great houses across the US and Canada:

Minnesota Opera | Canada Opera Company | New York City Opera | Sugar Creek Symphony & Song | DuPage Opera Theatre | Athena Grand Opera | Cleveland Opera | Arizona Opera | Tulsa Opera | Opera North | Opera Illinois | Springfield Symphony | Peoria Symphony | Calgary Opera

As the executive producer for Sugar Creek Symphony & Song, and this summer she's producing The Barber of Seville and The Marriage of Figaro for your musical enjoyment. Please join us, won't you? Tickets.

What the Critics are Saying about Helen

Opera News

"her two big arias were stunningly sung in a voice that on opening night was crystalline in timbre and remarkably controlled."

NYT logo


Helen Todd's "jagged coloratura flights make (Aunt Lydia) seem a sci-fi cousin of Mozart's avenging Queen of the Night"

Pioneer Press

On Helen's performance as Madam Mao in Nixon in China: "...when Todd’s crystalline soprano rips into a politically charged aria, it’s like she’s grabbing each individual in the audience by the shoulders and giving them a good shake."

Peoria Times Observer

"Helen Todd sang the 'Mad Scene' with thrilling dynamic range, ravishing ornamentation, perfect intonation, even in chromatic scales, and terrifying emotional intensity"

Helen in Performance: Photos
Helen in Performance: Audio

Photos of Helen in Performance: (1) as the Queen of the Night in Die Zauberflöte; (2) as Juliette in Roméo et Juliette with Sugar Creek Symphony & Song; (3) as Madame Mao in Nixon in China with Minnesota Opera (4-6) as Aunt Lydia in The Handmaid's Tale with Canadian Opera Company; (7) as Curley's Wife in Of Mice and Men; (8) as Gilda in Rigoletto; (9) as Mimí, with Mark Thomsen as Rodolfo, in La bohème at Sugar Creek Symphony & Song.



"In Questa Reggia" and Riddle from Turandot

"Del primo pianto" from Turandot

Mad Scene from Lucia di Lammermoor

"Sempre Libera" from La traviata

"Der Hölle Rache" from Die Zauberflöte

Classroom Scene from The Handmaid's Tale

"I Am the Wife of Mao Tsetung" from Nixon in China


Helen in Performance: Video



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