A theater professional for over 25 years, Helena Binder was an actor and director of plays and musicals before focusing her career on opera, allowing her to bring her wit and warmth to many of the finest opera companies in the United States. Known for her masterful sense of timing and for fostering natural, genuine and moving performances, her innovative and imaginative productions have been seen at New York City Opera, Dallas, Minnesota, Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Portland Opera, as well as at Opera Saratoga, Omaha, Chattanooga, Toledo, Roanoke and Wolf Trap, among others. Her productions of Ermione and Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria garnered high praise from The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and her The Barber of Seville was named one of Dallas’s top ten classical performances of 2006. Of her L’italiana in Algieri for Minnesota Opera, Larry Fuchsberg of the Star Tribune said, “In an evening of captivating performances, she steals the show.”
A choreographer as well, Ms. Binder has collaborated with such notable directors as Frank Corsaro, Simon Callow and Christopher Alden and has created dances for New York City Opera, Dallas, Pittsburgh and Glimmerglass Opera, where she also went on for an ailing countertenor. She has directed the Legislative Correspondents Association Show at the New York State capitol, the oldest political satire revue in the country, since 1985, and for her distinguished career in the arts Helena Binder was named a Union Notable by her alma mater, Union College, where she earned her B.A. She holds a Master of Arts from New York University and studied acting at Circle in the Square.
As an actor she has performed in regional theater in the United States and abroad in roles ranging from Peter Pan to Shakespeare’s Juliet, and was a member of the band Blotto, that recorded the hit I Wanna Be A Lifeguard.
A committed acting teacher and coach, Ms. Binder has been on the faculty of Union College, the Opera Institute of Boston University’s School of Music and the New England Conservatory and is a guest teacher in improvisation at Dartmouth College.