American Mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel is critically acclaimed for her powerful stage presence and vocalism. The Houston Chronicle raved “Heltzel sets the stage ablaze with her vocal and dramatic pyrotechnics,” while the New York Times noted of her role in THE SAINT OF BLEECKER STREET, “Sarah Heltzel, vocally striking and visually appealing, walked away with the second act as Desideria.” A 2012 and 2013 grant recipient from the Wagner Society of New York, Ms. Heltzel debuted in 2005 as Siegrune and Flosshilde in Seattle Opera’s acclaimed DER RING DES NIBELUNGEN, for which she returned in 2009 and 2013, also covering Waltraute and Zweite Norn. In the 2013-14 season, she sang Fricka in Minnesota Concert Opera’s MINI-RING, Jo LITTLE WOMEN for Opera on the James, Suzuki in the Brescia version of MADAMA BUTTERFLY for Dicapo Opera Theatre, recitals for the Wagner Society of New York and Washington Concert Opera, as well as Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY with the Boston Philharmonic and Minot Symphony Orchestra. Ms Heltzel has also played Desiree (for Syracuse Opera) and Charlotte (for Phoenicia Festival of the Voice) in Stephen Sondheim’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC, Donna Elvira DON GIOVANNI for Opera on the James, Saleswomen BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN for New York City Opera and the role of Offred in the Australian premiere of Poul Ruders THE HANDMAID’S TALE for the Gertrude Opera at the Yarra Valley Opera Festival. Upcoming engagements include the title-role CARMEN for Wichita Grand Opera.
In recent seasons Ms Heltzel has been seen as Princess Eboli DON CARLO with Wichita Grand Opera, Voix des Arts praised Heltzel dramatically and vocally as “a fiery presence that placed her at the center of the drama”with her “climactic top produced with unperturbed élan… justifiably acclaimed by the audience.” As Charlotte A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC with Phoenicia Festival of the Voice, she “excelled as an acid-tongued countess, providing comedy and brilliance” (Woodstock Times). Ms. Heltzel appeared in Verdi’s Requiem with the Wichita Symphony and in multiple new one-act operas for a collaboration with American Opera Projects and New York University. Recent role debuts include Desirée A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC with Syracuse Opera, Santuzza CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA for the Brooklyn String Orchestra, Lola CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA for Amarillo Opera and Musetta LA BOHÈME with Opera on the James.
Active in new music, Ms. Heltzel is a frequent guest artist with American Lyric Theater’s Composer-Librettist Development Program and has premiered numerous roles for their OPERA IN EDEN festivals. Recent roles include Princess Eboli DON CARLOS and Maddalena RIGOLETTO for Wichita Grand Opera, Romeo I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI for Opera in the Heights, the Ugly Duchess in Unsuk Chin’s ALICE IN WONDERLAND, Der Komponist ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Azucena IL TROVATORE with Opera in the Heights, and Suzuki MADAMA BUTTERFLY with Indianapolis Opera, Nevada Opera, Opera on the James, Amarillo Opera, and Syracuse Opera. Recent concerts include Verdi’s Requiem with Symphony Syracuse and Back Bay Chorale, Wagner’s WESENDONCK LIEDER and LIEDER EINES FAHRENDEN GESELLEN with pianist Miloš Repický for the Gustav Mahler Society of New York, and covered Dalila in Saint-Saëns’ SAMSON ET DALILA for Washington Concert Opera. Highlights from past seasons include CARMEN with Tacoma Opera, Flora LA TRAVIATA for Seattle Opera, Desideria THE SAINT OF BLEECKER STREET and the Marquise de Merteuil THE DANGEROUS LIAISONS for Dicapo Opera Theatre, Handel’s Messiah and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with Seattle Symphony, Orlofsky with Mississippi Opera, Dryade ARIADNE AUF NAXOS with Toledo Opera, Cherubino LE NOZZE DI FIGARO for Chautauqua Opera, WESENDONCK LIEDER with the Gordon College Symphony, and Mahler’s DAS LIED VON DER ERDE with the Boston Chamber Music Society. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Heltzel appeared as Cherubino LE NOZZE DI FIGARO, Miss Jessel in TURN OF THE SCREW and Despina COSÌ FAN TUTTE with the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program.