//  Critical Acclaim

Alcina / Santa Fe Opera

“Soprano Elza van den Heever infused the role of Alcina with dramatic commitment. She drew on an unusually broad dynamic spectrum, from the almost inaudible to the very loud; I found her voice to be piercing at high volume, to which she swelled not infrequently. Extreme manipulation of rhythm was also part of her arsenal. She stretched the phrases of her slow aria “Sì, son quella” like a taffy-maker, but it did prove affecting. She also managed her fast music well…”

James M. Keller – The New Mexican

“Van den Heever, who began her road to prominence with the San Francisco Opera, proved just as compelling as an angry, embittered drunk — unleashing long, forceful vocal phrases whose implacability belied her tottery stage business — as she had in the stately early phase of her ascendancy.”

Joshua Kosman – SFGate

“This kind of specialized singing also takes a great deal of stamina. The role of Alcina, in particular, calls for a series of arias that test every aspect of the singer’s talent. Elza van den Heever sang her da capo arias with runs, trills, added decorations and a wide tapestry of dramatic vocal colors.”

Maria Nockin – Broadway World

“The cast is led by powerful soprano Elza van den Heever, who plays a seductive Alcina. Though darkly unhinged, the enchantress shows signs of grief and appears almost sympathetic in her struggle to keep her lover.”

Eric Killelea – Santa Fe Reporter

“In the title role, van den Heever was subtle yet poised in her interpretation. Clad in a sleek black dress with a singular pink silk glove, van den Heever used her height to her advantage to intimidate the mortals and sucker them onto her island.”

Arya Roshanian – Operawire

“As an elegant Alcina driven to drink, Elza van den Heever sang with stirring beauty – the devotion with which she conveyed her love for Ruggierio in act one would not have been out of place as a Passion aria – but also commanded thrilling power (and an unnervingly diabolical cackle).”

Thomas May – Bachtrack

“Elza van den Heever was dignified and forbidding in the title role of the sorceress whose magical island is destroyed. The statuesque South African soprano seduced with the beauty of her voice, especially in impeccably tuned and agile melismas.”

Charles T. Downey – The Classical Review

“In the title role, Elza van den Heever was a convincing enchantress, pink glove and all. She sang with careful control, a beautiful pianissimo and long, expressive lines …”

Sharps and Flatirons

The role of Alcina, in particular, calls for a series of arias that test every aspect of the singer’s talent. Elza van den Heever sang her da capo arias with runs, trills, added decorations and a wide tapestry of dramatic vocal colors.

Maria Nockin – Broadway World