Artist of the Week: Elza van den Heever
South African Soprano Makes Debut as Senta at the Metropolitan OperaBy Francisco Salazar
(Credit: Ken Howard / Met Opera)
This week the Metropolitan Opera opens its final production of the 2023-24 season concluding with Wagner’s epic “Der Fliegende Holländer.” The opera is being revived for the first time since 2020 and with it the company has lined up an all-star cast of Wagnerian singers. Among them is Elza van den Heever.
The South African soprano will make her role debut as Senta adding another Wagnerian role to her repertoire. The role comes following her acclaimed turn as Elsa in “Lohengrin” and her work on the “Wesendonck Lieder” in which critics said, “Her vocal lines are sophisticated, diction impeccable.” It also marks her first Wagnerian role at the Met where Van den Heever has performed in productions of “Don Giovanni,” “Idomeneo,” “Elektra,” “Rodelinda,” and “Maria Stuarda.”
Senta is one of many Wagnerian roles that the soprano has coming up. She makes her role debut as Elizabeth in “Tannhäuser” at the Met and Sieglinde in “Die Walküre” in Rotterdam and Paris. For audiences not in New York for her first Senta performances, van den Heever will also sing the role at the Santa Fe Opera this summer.
Audiences interested in the soprano’s versatile artistry can check out her recording of “Maria Stuarda,” and “Il Tabarro.”
Here she is in her show-stopping “Salome” and in the Met’s Wagner concert.