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 Offred in THE HANDMAID'S TALE (Melbourne, Australia), Eboli in DON CARLO (Wichita Grand Opera), Santuzza in CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA (String Orchestra of Brooklyn), Der Komponist in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Winter Opera St Louis), Musetta in LA BOHEME (Opera on the James), and CARMEN (Tacoma Opera, Wichita Grand Opera, Pacific NW Opera, Newport Music Festival gala).
This season Sarah returns to New York City Opera as Olga Finzi-Contini in the world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon's THE GARDEN OF THE FINZI-CONTINIS, sings Caroline Herschel in the world premiere of SOUTHERN CROSSINGS by Zaid Jabri, Yvette Christianse and Rosalind Morris in NYC, and sings Death in Tom Cipullo's new chamber opera THE PARTING with Chelsea Opera in Syracuse, NY. Pre-pandemic Sarah was singing Maddalena in an inventive production of RIGOLETTO at The Box nightclub on the Lower East Side, and Mary in A DANGER TO US ALL: TYPHOID MARY (Kiesewalter/Ziff) at Joe's Pub at The Public Theater. In concert she sang Rossini's STABAT MATER at Dartmouth College and MESSIAH with the Norwalk Symphony. 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 for Bernstein’s SONGFEST, and Music for Life International for Beethoven’s NINTH SYMPHONY at Carnegie Hall.
Other opera highlights include Donna Elvira in DON GIOVANNI and Jo in LITTLE WOMEN (Opera on the James); Siegrune in DIE WALKURE and Flora in LA TRAVIATA (Seattle Opera); Desirée and Charlotte in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Syracuse Opera, Phoenicia Festival); Saleswoman in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN (Wuorinen), Trio Alto in ANGELS IN AMERICA (Eötvös), the Ugly Duchess in ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Chin) (New York City Opera); Suzuki in MADAMA BUTTERFLY (Indianapolis, Amarillo, Syracuse, Nevada, Dicapo and Opera on the James); Maddalena in RIGOLETTO (Wichita Grand Opera); Azucena in IL TROVATORE and Romeo in I CAPULETI E I MONTECCHI (Opera in the Heights), Prince Orlofsky in DIE FLEDERMAUS (Mississippi Opera), Dryade in ARIADNE AUF NAXOS (Toledo Opera), the Marquise de Merteuil in DANGEROUS LIAISONS (Susa) and Desideria in THE SAINT OF BLEECKER STREET (Dicapo Theater), and Cherubino in LE NOZZE DI FIGARO (Chautauqua Opera, Seattle Opera YAP). She sang Fricka in Minnesota Concert Opera’s MINI-RING with Jay Hunter Morris, Richard Paul Fink and Lori Phillips, and covered Flosshilde in DAS RHEINGOLD and Zweite Norn, Waltraute and Flosshilde in GOTTERDAMMERUNG 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’s REQUIEM with Wichita Symphony, Symphony Syracuse, Back Bay Chorale and at Carnegie Hall, Handel’s MESSIAH and Janacek's GLAGOLITIC MASS with Seattle Symphony, Beethoven’s 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 performed Wagner’s WESENDONCK LIEDER with the Gordon College Symphony, Mahler's DAS LIED VON DER ERDE with the Boston Chamber Music Society, and Respighi’s 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.