American Mezzo-soprano Sarah Heltzel is being noticed for her powerful stage presence and vocalism. For recent performances in Houston, the Chronicle praised her “star performance,” raving, “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.”
This season Ms. Heltzel makes role debuts of Musetta in La Bohème for Opera on the James, Desirée in A Little Night Music at Syracuse Opera, and Santuzza and Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana for String Orchestra of Brooklyn and Amarillo Opera, respectively. A 2012 and 2013 grant recipient from the Wagner Society of New York, Ms. Heltzel opened last season singing Siegrune and covering Flosshilde, Waltraute and Zweite Norn in Seattle Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen and Fricka for Minnesota Concert Opera’s Mini-Ring. Other recent roles include Jo in Little Women for Opera on the James, Romeo in I Capuleti e i Montecchi for Opera in the Heights, the Ugly Duchess in New York City Opera’s production of Unsuk Chin’s Alice in Wonderland, Der Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with Winter Opera Saint Louis, Azucena in Il Trovatore with Opera in the Heights, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly with Indianapolis Opera, Nevada Opera, Opera on the James, Amarillo Opera, Dicapo Opera and Syracuse Opera.
Highlights from past seasons include Carmen with Tacoma Opera, Flora in La Traviata for Seattle Opera, Desideria in The Saint of Bleecker Street and the Marquise de Merteuil in The Dangerous Liaisons for Dicapo Opera Theatre,Handel’s Messiah and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass with Seattle Symphony, Verdi’sRequiem with Symphony Syracuse and Back Bay Chorale, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Boston Philharmonic and Minot Symphony Orchestra, Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus with Mississippi Opera, Dryade in Ariadne auf Naxos with Toledo Opera, Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro for Chautauqua Opera,Wesendonck Lieder with the Gordon College Symphony, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Boston Chamber Music Society, and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder with pianist Miloš Repický for the Gustav Mahler and Wagner Societies of New York.
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 one-act festivals. As a young artist Ms. Heltzel appeared as Cherubino in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Miss Jessel in Britten’s Turn of the Screw and Despina in Così fan tutte with the Seattle Opera Young Artist Program. A graduate of Manhattan School of Music, she is based in Manhattan with her husband Peter, a theologian.