Peter Grimes / English National Opera

“Elza van den Heever, a superb South African soprano who looks and sounds remarkably like the young Joan Sutherland, stands out from the herd as a stolid and sensible Ellen Orford, with a voice of angelic sheen and purity promising hope and redemption.”

Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph

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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

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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

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Alcina / Opéra National de Bordeaux

“South African soprano Elza van den Heever played Alcina. She is an important soprano of our times, a lyric-spinto, and she has a great future ahead of her…Elza van den Heever was an exciting Alcina, more powerful than moving, and at her best in the more dramatic moments.”

José Ma Irurzun, Seen and Heard International

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Rinaldo / Lyric Opera of Chicago

“As Armida, the bright-voiced, fearless soprano Elza van den Heever stole every scene she was in, especially the end of Act II, in which the thwarted Armida sings a fiery aria of defiance, “Vo’ far guerra.”

Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

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