//  Critical Acclaim

Il Trovatore / Canadian Opera Company

“Elza van den Heever. Remember that name. The South African soprano makes her COC debut here and will be making her Metropolitan Opera debut at the end of the year.

Her performance as the piece’s tragic heroine, beloved of two brothers who are also sworn enemies, hit all of the emotional touchstones the part requires: vulnerability, ecstatic love and heart-rending despair. From the opening notes of “Tacea la notte placida,” it was obvious we were in the hands of a singer for whom delicacy and power are not mutually exclusive.

There is also a welcome spontaneity in her acting, which made that difficult toboggan ride of the opera’s penultimate scene, where she hurtles through some of the plot’s more melodramatic turns, something to be believed and cherished.”

Richard Ouzounian, The Star

“The singing kudos goes to South African soprano Elza van den Heever as Leonora. She has a good stage presence and gives us a lovely and tortured heroine. She achieves controlled fragility and vocal splendour. When she sings pianissimo and you are afraid that her voice may crack, it takes wings and slowly soars with indelible beauty. It’s like a white dove slowly opening its wings and rising towards the sky. She can be dramatic as well and gives a well-rounded performance of the first order.”

James Karas, Bachtrack