“… Fidelio which was especially memorable for South African soprano Elza van den Heever’s thrilling first-ever Leonore … van den Heever, whose wide-ranging and plush dark soprano rang out sensationally … Hers was an intriguingly introverted Leonore, one who even in a semi-staged performance rarely gestured keeping her riveting intensity very inward.
Often one perceives a Leonore cautiously husbanding her energies until after “Abscheulicher,” but not the bold van den Heever—she easily soared over the quartet and the oft-derided but delicious trio with Rocco and Marzelline. Her fierce, nervous duets with Rocco demonstrated a touching chemistry with Sigmundsson. For me the ultimate test of a Leonore is her triumphant cry of “Töt erst sein Weib!” in the dungeon scene and van den Heever’s B-flat sailed out splendidly momentarily quelling the chaos … it was exceptionally gratifying to witness deeper, more complex aspects of her artistry. Her Elettra in Idomeneo at the Met next season immediately becomes a must-see …”
Christopher Corwin, Parterre