//  Critical Acclaim

Peter Grimes / San Francisco Symphony

“Former San Francisco Opera Merola and Adler Fellow Elza van den Heever, who made her debut in the role of Ellen Orford opposite Skelton in the English National Opera‘s “Grimes” earlier this year, continues to show why she is a singer to watch and hear at any opportunity. Here, she maintains a dramatically significant control in Ellen’s early scenes. The voice is clear, precise, reflecting Ellen‘s quiet determination to stand up to the villagers in her defense of the man she hopes to marry. … Later, when she discovers a bruise on the neck of the new apprentice… and wavers in her belief in Peter, van den Heever unleashes a glorious lyrical ribbon of pain and beauty, every bit of loneliness and heartbreak spilling out of her. Her rendition of the “Embroidery Aria” in the third act, that quiet moment meant to suggest the calm between an ebbing and crashing wave, was etched in wistful resignation.”

David Weigand, San Francisco Chronicle