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“Blessed with a plush, dramatic voice capable of formidable power and dazzling high notes …” (Associated Press)
Acclaimed soprano Elza van den Heever brings her signature vocalism and renowned stage presence to celebrated international venues in the 2017/18 season. She sings the beloved role of Leonora in a new production of Verdi’s Il trovatore at Oper Frankfurt to launch the season, followed by Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Helsinki Philharmonic. She remains in Europe to sing Leonore in Beethoven’s Fidelio at the Opernhaus Zürich, and performs selections by Beethoven with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, led by Simone Young. Returning to the Metropolitan Opera stage in the spring of 2018, Ms. van den Heever will debut as Chrysothemis in Strauss’ Elektra, and she completes the season at Oper Frankfurt in the title role of Bellini’s Norma.
Ms. van den Heever returned to the Canadian Opera Company last season, starring as Norma. She previously scored a triumph in her depiction of one of the most demanding operatic heroines in the canon, garnering praise from audiences and critics alike at Opéra National de Bordeaux:
The virtuosity of Ms. van den Heever is breathtaking throughout the performance…coloratura at the top of the range, with stunning maturity in the lower range. With her controlled virtuosity, Elza van den Heever had the audience anxiously awaiting every note.Bachtrack
Elza also starred as Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes at the historic Wiener Staatsoper, followed by concert performances as Elvira in Verdi’s Ernani at Oper Frankfurt, led by Simone Young. She returned to the Metropolitan Opera stage in the spring of 2017, as Elettra in Mozart’s Idomeneo with a starry cast, under the baton of James Levine. She then traveled to the Dallas Opera, where she had a triumph in the title role of Bellini’s Norma.
Elza has performed several roles to great acclaim at the Metropolitan Opera, including Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni: “Elza van den Heever, following her outstanding Met debut in 2012 as Elizabeth in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda, is back as a vocally splendid and poignantly confused Donna Anna. Her singing is agile and focused, yet luminous and penetrating.” (The New York Times) In that same season, she sang an unforgettable portrayal in the title role of Norma, in a new Christopher Alden-directed production for Opéra National de Bordeaux.
Other signature portrayals in Europe have included Ellen Orford in Britten’s Peter Grimes at English National Opera and Elsa in Wagner’s Lohengrin at the Opernhaus Zürich, where she was described as “… sharing more than a first name with the Wagnerian heroine. Her vocal lines are sophisticated, diction impeccable, and her inflection and nuances serve to depict Elsa as a young woman who is at once daring, bold and strong. This is truly wondrous in the second act during the verbal sparring with Ortrud, as well as in the final dramatic scene, in which her defiance is breathtaking.” (Opéra Forum)
In the 2015/16 season, Ms. van den Heever revisited the role of Elisabetta di Valois in Verdi’s Don Carlo, in a new production by director Robert Carsen at both the Opéra National de Bordeaux as well as the Opéra National du Rhin. She also made a triumphant return to the Metropolitan Opera stage, as Elisabetta in Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda “… with impressive authority of her own, showing a bright, clear, and powerful voice.” (New York Classical Voice)
Last season also included performances at Oper Frankfurt, where she was previously in residence, in her debut in the title role of Suor Angelica in addition to Giorgetta (Il Tabarro) in Puccini’s Il Trittico. She was the soprano soloist in Britten’s War Requiem with Kölner Philharmonie under the baton of Semyon Bychkov; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (“Choral”) with the Beethoven Orchester Bonn and conductor Stefan Blunier; and was also featured in an all-Mozart concert with the Orchestre National de Toulouse, led by Rinaldo Alessandrini.