Since her debut as Siegrune and Flosshilde in Seattle Opera’s acclaimed DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, Sarah Heltzel has coupled her “potent star performances” with a “rich, powerhouse voice” in roles from Verdi to Sondheim. Known as a versatile actress, Heltzel’s compelling presence and true Zwischenfach voice have garnered critical acclaim for performances as Eboli in DON CARLO for Wichita Grand Opera, Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA with the String Orchestra of Brooklyn), Der Komponist ARIADNE AUF NAXOS for Winter Opera St Louis, Musetta LA BOHÈME with Opera on the James, and CARMEN for Tacoma Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Pacific NW Opera and the Newport Music Festival.
Engagements this season include Olga Finzi-Contini in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS, Death in the east coast premiere of Tom Cipullo’s THE PARTING WITH Chelsea Opera in Syracuse, and Caroline Herschel in Zaid Jabri’s world premiere of SOUTHERN CROSSINGS. Pre-pandemic, Heltzel made her Australian debut as Offred in THE HANDMAID’S TALE (Ruders) in Melbourne, sang CARMEN for Wichita Grand Opera, joined the Maverick Chamber Music Festival as the mezzo soloist in Bernstein’s SONGFEST, sang Mary in A DANGER TO US ALL: TYPHOID MARY (Kiesewalter/Ziff) at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, and was the alto soloist Music for Life International for Beethoven Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall.
Other recent highlights include Donna Elvira DON GIOVANNI and Jo LITTLE WOMEN for Opera on the James, Siegrune DIE WALKÜRE and Flora LA TRAVIATA for Seattle Opera, Desirée and Charlotte in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC for Syracuse Opera and Phoenicia Festival, Saleswoman BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, Trio Alto ANGELS IN AMERICA and the Ugly Duchess ALICE IN WONDERLAND for New York City Opera, Suzuki MADAMA BUTTERFLY in Indianapolis, Amarillo, Syracuse, Nevada and for Dicapo Opera and Opera on the James, Maddalena RIGOLETTO for Wichita Grand Opera, Azucena IL TROVATORE and Romeo I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI for Opera in the Heights, Prince Orlofsky DIE FLEDERMAUS for Mississippi Opera, Dryade ARIADNE AUF NAXOS for Toledo Opera and Cherubino LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Chautauqua Opera and Seattle Opera. She sang Fricka in Minnesota Concert Opera’s MINI-RING with Jay Hunter Morris, Richard Paul Fink and Lori Phillips, and covered Flosshilde DAS RHEINGOLD and Zweite Norn, Waltraute and Flosshilde GÖTTERDÄMMERUNG for Seattle Opera. Heltzel has also created roles in multiple new operas for American Lyric Theater and American Opera Projects in New York.
Concert performances include Verdi Requiem with Wichita Symphony, Symphony Syracuse, Back Bay Chorale and at Carnegie Hall, Handel Messiah and Janacek Glagolitic Mass with Seattle Symphony, Beethoven Ninth Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic and Minot Symphony Orchestra, and the world premiere of Struggle to Forgive: Confronting Gun Violence in America (Fagin) with the Knickerbocker Orchestra in NYC. A lover of song repertoire Heltzel has also had the opportunity to perform Wagner Wesendonck Lieder with the Gordon College Symphony, Mahler Das Lied von der Erde with the Boston Chamber Music Society, and Respighi Il Tramonto with Red Rocks Music Festival and the String Orchestra of Brooklyn, as well as numerous recitals with collaborator Miloš Repický.
After completing studies at the Manhattan School of Music, Heltzel joined the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. She has been a grant recipient and prizewinner from The Wagner Society of New York, The Liederkranz Foundation, The Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Chautauqua Opera, the Career Bridges Competition, and the Palm Beach Opera Vocal Competition.