Elza van den Heever is set to make her role debut as Senta in Der Fliegende Holländer at The Metropolitan Opera this spring. Under the baton of Thomas Guggeis, this otherworldly production showcases the creative vision of French-Canadian Director Francois Girard, who originally crafted this immersive experience for the Festival d’opéra de Québec in 2019, followed by its success at the Met Opera in 2020. Seamlessly intertwining powerful storytelling, breathtaking visuals, and the evocative score of Wagner, this production promises an unforgettable journey. Joining Ms. van den Heever on stage are notable talents including Tomasz Konieczny as the Dutchman, Eric Cutler as Erik, Dmitry Belosselskiy as Daland, and Richard Trey Smagur as Steuermann.
On May 5 and 6, Elza van den Heever joins renowned conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Kimmel Center for a concert featuring works by Austrian composer Anton Bruckner.
The program will begin with Bruckner’s sacred choral work, “Christus factus est,” followed by the composer’s Symphony No. 9. The Ninth Symphony, considered one of Bruckner’s most significant works, was left unfinished at the time of his death in 1896. The orchestra will perform the piece as the composer intended, with Te Deum as its finale. Gustav Mahler, who treasured Bruckner’s score, described it as written “for the tongues of angels.”
Ms. van den Heever completes a thrilling quartet of soloists for these performances including mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung, tenor Sean Panikkar, and bass-baritone Ryan Speedo Green. They will also be joined by the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, directed by Joe Miller.
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On April 26 and 27, Elza van den Heever is set to perform Verdi’s Requiem with Orchestre de Paris and the Chœur de l’Orchestre de Paris. The monumental score follows the tradition of Catholic liturgy, but it is also, in the words of Hans von Bülow, “An opera in ecclesiastical dress.” Under the baton of Jaap van Zweden, Ms. van den Heever will be joined by mezzo–soprano Aude Extrémo, tenor René Barbera, and bass Jean Teitgen as the soloists in the gripping work.
On April 1, 5, and 9, Elza van den Heever reprises the role of the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten at the 2023 Baden-Baden Easter Festival. She has previously sung the role in Paris and Rotterdam under Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and was set to perform it at The Metropolitan Opera in the 2020/21 season (which was unfortunately canceled due to COVID-19). Of her performance at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Diapason Magazine declared:
“Tout change quand paraît l’Impératrice. Timbre d’argent cousu d’or, avec un aigu agile comme le vol de l’hirondelle, un galbe de la phrase aux souplesses félines, Elza van den Heever est la grande triomphatrice de la soirée. L’incarnation aura besoin de se libérer, mais pour une première fois, c’est déjà un accomplissement, qui impose l’artiste parmi les grands sopranos Strauss d’aujourd’hui.”
[“Everything changes when the Empress appears. A silver timbre sewn with gold, with a high note as agile as the flight of a swallow, a curve of the phrase with feline suppleness, Elza van den Heever is the great triumph of the evening. The embodiment will need to be released, but for a first time, it is already an accomplishment, which imposes the artist among the great Strauss sopranos of today.”]
Mr. van den Heever shares the stage with a brilliant cast of dramatic voices, including Wolfgang Koch as Barak the Dyer, Miina-Liisa Värelä as the Dyer’s Wife, Clay Hilley as the Emperor, and Michaela Schuster as the Nurse. Kirill Petrenko conducts the incredible Berliner Philharmoniker in Lydia Steier’s striking new production of Strauss’ enigmatic fairytale.
The opera will also be presented in concert at Philharmonie Berlin on April 14. This performance will be live-streamed at 18:00 CET on Digital Concert Hall.
Photo: Jiyang Chen
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Elza van den Heever has been honored with the title of Chevalier by France’s Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. With origins attributed to the Order of Saint Michael from 1469, The Ordre des Arts et des Lettres is an order of France established in 1957 by the Minister of Culture that aims to recognize significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields. Ms. van den Heever joins a select group of world-class artists who’ve received this great distinction including Tim Burton, Cate Blanchett, and Philip Glass.
Photo: Jiyang Chen
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On January 26 and 27, Elza van den Heever will appear as the featured soloist in Strauss’ Vier letzte Lieder with Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg under the baton of Joseph Swensen. Regarded as the final work of Richard Strauss, Ms. van den Heever has previously performed the set of four moving songs with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Orchestre de Paris.
The program will also include Mozart’s Symphony No. 25 in G minor, Wagner’s Overture to Tannhäuser and Scriabin’s The Poem of Ecstasy.
Photo: Jiyang Chen
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This fall, Elza van den Heever will make her highly anticipated debut in the title role of Richard Strauss’ Salome with Opéra national de Paris. A frequent interpreter of Strauss, she has garnered great acclaim in other leading roles of his including Chrysothemis in Elektra and the Empress in Die Frau ohne Schatten.
With a creative team that includes conductor Simone Young and director Lydia Steier in her company debut, this production leans into the sexual politics of the revolutionary tale. The thrilling cast will also feature Zoran Todorovich as Herodes, Karita Mattila as Herodias, Iain Paterson as Jochanaan, Tansel Akzeybek as Narraboth, Katharina Magiera as Herodias’ Page, Matthäus Schmidlechner as First Jew, Éric Huchet as Second Jew, Maciej Kwaśnikowski as Third Jew, Mathias Vidal as Fourth Jew, Sava Vemić as Fifth Jew, Luke Stoker as First Nazarene, Yiorgo Ioannou as Second Nazarene, Dominic Barberi as First Soldier, Bastian Thomas Kohl as Second Soldier, Alejandro Baliñas Vieites as a Cappadocian and Thomas Ricart as a slave.
On July 8, 11, 14, 17 and 20, Elza van den Heever will return to Oper Frankfurt as Suor Angelica and Giorgetta (Il tabarro) in Klaus Guth’s staging of Il trittico, Puccini’s three famous one-act operas. In 2008, Ms. van den Heever made her company debut as Giorgetta in the director’s then-new production of the operatic trio. She went on to perform a variety of roles as a member of the company within the next five years.
Performing opposite Ms. van den Heever in Suor Angelica will be Victória Pitts as La Zia Principessa, Barbara Zechmeister as La Badessa, Marvic Monreal as La suora zelatrice, Enikö Boros as La maestra delle novizie, Monika Buczkowska as Suor Genovieffa, Karolina Bengtsson as Suor Osmina, Nombulelo Yende as Suor Dolcina, Claudia Kamaris as Suora Infermiera, Michaela Schaudel and Anna-Katharina Hilpert as Two Almoner Sisters and Alketa Hoxha as A Novice.
Il tabarro will also star Željko Lučić as Michele, Stefano La Colla as Luigi, Katharina Magiera as Frugola, Michael McCown as Tinca and Alfred Reiter as Talpa, Jonathan Abernethy as Song Peddler, and Nombulelo Yende and Jaeil Kim as Two Lovers.
The comedic Gianni Schicchi will feature Željko Lučić in the title role, Kudaibergen Abildin as Rinuccio, Victória Pitts as Zita, Penny Sofroniadou as Lauretta, Jonathan Abernethy as Gherardo, Monika Buczkowska as Nella, Simeon Pauly/Anthony Ritts as Gheradino, Thomas Faulkner as Betto di Signa, Alfred Reiter as Simone, Liviu Holender as Marco, Katharina Magiera as Ciesca, Thomas Charrois as Spincelloccio, Dong Hyub Hong as Notaio.