News & Announcements
Nationally Renowned Artistic Director and Conductor Applaud Sugar Creek Opera Cleveland
Cleveland, Ohio – Sugar Creek Opera Cleveland has received endorsements from two of operas most celebrated professionals, Dale Johnson, Artistic Director, Minnesota Opera, and Maestro Joseph Mechavich, Conductor.
Mr. Johnson has been Minnesota Opera’s Artistic Director since 1994, after having served as the music administrator, chorusmaster and artistic director of the company’s touring and education program. Prior to joining Minnesota Opera, he was one of the nation’s foremost vocal coaches. Mr. Johnson’s comments follow.
“Opera is a multimedia art form in a multimedia world. The singer’s unique ability to express the emotions and arouse the imaginations of the audience is supported by exquisite visual design of the sets, costumes and lighting.” A successful opera company combines the core of the art form’s historical basis (singing) with 21st century production techniques to provide audiences with a complete multi-media experience, integrating the artistic philosophy with a commitment to technological innovation that has helped to produce operas of dazzlingly expressive power.
The opera art form is over 400 years old and is one of humankind’s great accomplishments. While essentially a product of European culture, opera maintains its freshness by embracing the culture in which it exists. We here at Minnesota Opera have been able to combine both the most traditional of operas with cutting edge new work. The Twin Cities is a vibrant community that has a long history of artistic excellence. Cleveland is also a great community with an extraordinary history of world class music making. The fact that Cleveland does not have a vibrant opera company is mind-blowing. However, I am in full support of Helen Todd’s desire to bring world class opera to Cleveland. Why Helen? First of all, she is an extraordinary singer as you may well know. Her long career has spanned both the traditional and the brand new. She is a perfect spokesperson for a company that, like Minnesota Opera, can create a balanced repertoire of old and new. As we look around the country we see companies falling by the wayside. The reason for this is that they have not become a necessary part of the community. Can you imagine Cleveland without the Cleveland Orchestra or Playhouse Square? Helen’s quest is to bring that sort of operatic excellence to a community that is sorely in need of it. I think that Helen Todd would be the perfect person to put in place the foundation for a successful and exciting new opera company.”
-Dale Johnson, Artistic Director of Minnesota Opera
Regarded as a conductor of authority and warmth, Joseph Mechavich is known for his exceptional artistry and infectious energy which he brings to every performance, as well as the personal and career-defining relationships he has forged with a number of opera companies and orchestras. Maestro Mechavich studied at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Yale University School of Music and holds a seat on the Sugar Creek Opera Cleveland Board of Directors. His comments follow.
“Opera is the union of music, drama and the visual arts. Opera supports a community by using the talents of local musicians, artists and technical wizards. The result is that professional fully staged opera enhances a community. Cleveland deserves an opera company that will not only celebrate this amazing artform but will add an important component to the cultural landscape of this great American city.
Helen Todd will lead this effort to bring professional fully staged opera back to Cleveland with consummate artistic and fiscal acumen. Having graced the stages of the world as a celebrated soprano, Helen has also overseen the successful effort to bring an opera festival to her hometown Watseka, IL. Her inventive and competent model in Watseka showcases not only the artform but the community in which she was raised. It is with this spirit and her 18 year tenure as a Cleveland resident, that Helen can do the same for Cleveland!”
-Joseph Mechavich, Conductor
Introducing Sugar Creek Opera Cleveland
We’re pleased to announce our expansion into Cleveland in late 2014. Learn more about our mission with Sugar Creek Opera Cleveland. Sign up for our mailing list to get more news and updates.
Cleveland’s Helen Todd To Star In Hong Kong’s Musica Viva Production of Turandot
Sugar Creek Opera is pleased to announce that General & Artistic Director, Soprano Helen Todd (www.helentodd.com), has been engaged to sing the title role in Giacomo Puccini’s Turandot, with Musica Viva in Hong Kong. Todd will star in a new production of Puccini’s masterpiece with Luciano Berio’s ending on December 13 & 14, 2014 at the Hong Kong City Hall, Concert Hall in Hong Kong.