The Helena Symphony Orchestra & Chorale and renowned a renowned cast present Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street! Stephen Sondheim’s iconic musical and operatic thriller Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street tells the story of love, loss, wit, enterprise, and revenge. This staged performance includes an all-star cast from the opera house and musical theatre. Come and get the closest shave you will ever know and perhaps you will give a nod to Sweeney Todd.
“Sweeney Todd will be a true highlight of Season 68,” explains Director of Development & Communications, Cameron Betchey. “Sweeney Todd will encapsulate many of the Helena Symphony’s core values including artistic excellence and community engagement. This fully staged production will blow our audience away, and we are excited to welcome several renowned soloists from across the globe.”
Masterworks VI is presented by AARP Montana, Helena Home Team, Deloitte,
Mosaic Architecture, Dianne Scott, Church Harris Johnson & Williams P.C., Smitty’s Fireplace Shop,
the Best Western Great Northern Hotel, and HTC Montana Limousine!
Gabriel Preisser stars as Sweeney Todd!
GRAMMY® Award winning baritone Gabriel Preisser has been praised by Opera News for his “handsome voice, charismatic energy, and timbral allure.” His resume includes over 40 operatic and musical theater roles including “Danilo” in The Merry Widow, “Billy Bigelow” in Carousel, “Figaro” in Il barbiere di Siviglia, “Dandini” in La Cenerentola, “Escamillo” in Carmen, “Belcore” in L’elisir d’amore, “Belfiore” in Verdi’s Un Giorno di Regno, and many more. He has performed with Utah Festival Opera, Minnesota Orchestra, Opera Orlando, St Petersburg Opera, Opera Tampa, Lyric Opera of the North, Shreveport Opera, Opera Parallele, Gulfshore Opera, Opera Naples, Colorado Symphony, and Skylark Opera.
Mr. Preisser has made a name for himself as a versatile, crossover performer and has been especially active in new works. He created the role of “Lt. Gordon” in Kevin Puts’ Pulitzer Prize winning Silent Night at Minnesota Opera with subsequent performances at Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, and Michigan Opera Theatre, and also broadcast nationally on PBS in 2013 and 2014. He also took on the role of “Farmer Bean” in Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox both with Opera San Antonio and Odyssey Opera of Boston. He can be heard on the original cast recording of Fantastic Mr. Fox under the baton of Gil Rose with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project that won the GRAMMY® Award for best new opera recording in 2020
Mēghan F. Scott Stars as Nellie Lovett!
A native of Ohio, Mēghan F. Scott has worked in theatre, film, and television for over two decades throughout the United States and makes her Helena Symphony subscription solo debut with “Mrs. Lovett” in this Season’s performance of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd. She recently appeared as the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar with HeartScope Ensemble at the Myrna Loy, “The Baker’s Wife” in Sondheim’s Into the Woods at Grandstreet Theatre, and in Paramount television network’s series Yellowstone.
Other past credits include performances in She Loves Me, The King and I, Oklahoma!, Hello, Dolly!, Seussical, Xanadu, Godspell, The Man Who Came to Dinner, All Shook Up, You Can’t Take it With You, Cinderella, The Dairy of Anne Frank, and You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
An active actor and singer, Ms. Scott has appeared with the Helena Symphony several times in many roles for educational concerts and as a member of the Helena Symphony Chorale.
Widely regarded as the most important composer-lyricist in the history of American theater, Stephen Sondheim grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where he was raised by a divorced mother who was, by all accounts, possessive and emotionally abusive. In 1942, the young Sondheim befriended his neighbor James Hammerstein, the son of Oscar Hammerstein II. At the time, Oscar Hammerstein was working on a new work entitled Oklahoma!, with a score by Richard Rodgers. For Sondheim, Hammerstein proved to be a mentor and substitute father. As Sondheim once remarked, “If Hammerstein was a geologist, I would have been a geologist.”
Throughout his career, Sondheim has continued to redefine himself and American theater. His artistic philosophy might be best expressed in the title of one of his songs: “I Never Do Anything Twice.” Sondheim’s works are as different from one another as works created by the same artist could possibly be. If Oscar Hammerstein II used the musical form to dramatize the problem of racism in the United States, Sondheim further expanded the possibilities of the American musical, addressing such unlikely subjects as presidential assassination (Assassins), American imperialism (Pacific Overtures), the industrial revolution and the culture of capitalism (Sweeney Todd), nostalgia and the distortions of memory (Follies), and self-alienation in the metropolis (Company).
In addition to winning the Pulitzer Prize, Sondheim has been awarded eight Tony Awards for Best Score, several Grammy Awards, Academy Awards, and the National Medal of Arts. In 1990 he was appointed the first Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University and in 1993 was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors. In 2000, he was awarded the Premium Imperiale, Japan’s highest honor, for a lifetime of artistic achievement.
Masterworks Series presented by AARP Montana
The Helena Symphony is continuing its partnership with AARP to bring exceptional symphonic music to thousands across western Montana. Over the last two years, the Helena Symphony and AARP Montana have brought music into people’s homes with no pay wall, engaging more community members than ever before. As the Masterworks Series presented by AARP Montana, this continued collaboration will support audiences within the concert hall, bringing the highest quality symphonic performances and guest artists to Helena. The Helena Symphony is grateful for the generosity of the AARP Montana team!
Concert tickets can be purchased ($15 – $55 plus a $5 transaction fee) online at www.helenasymphony.org, by calling the Symphony Box Office (406.442.1860), or visiting the Symphony Box Office located on the Walking Mall at the Placer Building (21 N. Last Chance Gulch, Suite 100) between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Maestro Scott, guest artists, and Director of Patron Services Scott Kall are available for interviews by contacting
the Symphony at 406.442.1860 or [email protected].