//  Critical Acclaim

Maria Stuarda / The Metropolitan Opera

“In a notable Met debut, Elza van den Heever, a 33-year-old South African soprano whose career is rising internationally, is a vocally burnished and emotionally tempestuous Elizabeth (Elisabetta)…her voice has penetrating depth and character. She turns flights of coloratura passagework into bursts of jealousy and defiance as Elizabeth contends with the threat that Mary, a blood relative, poses to her reign in England… I admired the rawness and vulnerability of Ms. van den Heever’s performance. She was so committed to this role that she shaved her head, the better to accommodate the queen’s elaborate wigs. And her bright, intense voice sliced through the orchestra whenever the queen’s ire was provoked.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“Ms. van den Heever, making her company debut, has a big, well-controlled soprano. It is steely and assertive, with the flexibility to pull off Elizabeth’s vengeful, vitriolic cabalettas. She conveyed both Elizabeth’s autocratic demeanor and the underlying effort required to maintain that façade.”

Heidi Waleson, The Wall Street Journal