Heidi Klassen Headshot 2.jpg

Amnesty International concert in 2009:

“I cannot say enough about Heidi Klassen. Her stage presence is bigger-than-life. Elegant and poised, she captivated the audience and held us all in her heartfelt song. Her vocal style is technically flawless, with perfect articulation. She is meticulous, and at the same time sings with such conviction and spiritual strength that it moved some audience members to tears. The I Ching.. says. ” The ancient Kings made music in order to honor merit, and offered it with splendor to the Supreme Deity, inviting their ancestors to be present”. Music was looked upon as something serious and holy, designed to purify …feelings. Confucius has said “He who could wholly comprehend this sacrifice could rule the world as though it were spinning on his hand”. The concert ended with a standing ovation. All who were present knew that this was not merely entertainment, it was holy. Confucius would have approved.”

Mozart – Don Giovanni  – Donna Elvira – Manitoba Opera -

(Winnipeg Free Press) – “Winnipeg soprano Heidi Klassen’s Donna Elvira was up to Klassen’s normal high standards. Her powerful voice easily carried the nuances of the betrayed but still besotted lover, and she and Cheryl Hickman were vocal matches for all the males on stage.”

Britten – The Turn of the Screw  – Miss Jessel – Manitoba Opera

(Winnipeg Free Press)  “Heidi Klassen is always wonderful in boldly-coloured theatrical roles, for which Miss Jessel suited her to manner born.”

(Opera Canada – World Report)  “while the multifaceted talent of Winnipeg soprano Heidi Klassen provided an appropriate frightful portrayal of Miss Jessel.”

Strauss  – Die Fledermaus – Rosalinde – Opera Lyra – Ottawa

(The Ottawa Citizen) “The singers are all strong….some of the more memorable portrayals include Benoit Boutet’s von Eisenstein and Heidi Klassen’s Rosalinde.”

(Ruprecht – Ottawa)  “I liked soprano Heidi Klassen as Rosalinde, a magnificent voice with much dramatic power…a voice probably even better suited to more serious opera because here the intensity of her solo pieces was almost overpowering…but it was a pleasure to hear her.”

Peter – Nosferatu – Camilla – Manitoba Opera

(Winnipeg Free Press)  “The vocal writing is equally hard-edged, yet with much that is poignant. Barry Busse’s Nosferatu and Heidi Klassen’s Camilla led as 12-member cast, along with conductor Bramwell Tovey and an alert Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, one could pay the ultimate compliment that it sounded as if they had lived with this work for some time.”

Bizet – Carmen – Micaela – Pacific Opera Victoria

(Times Columnist)  “Soprano Heidi Klassen was a strong Micaela, providing some of the evening’s best moments with Act 1’s lovely Parle-moi de ma mere, and Micaela’s air in the strikingly conceived smugglers’ den.”

(Victoria News)  “Heidi Klassen sings the part of the likeable peasant Micaela with some tenacity.”

Puccini – La Boheme – Musetta – Opera Lyra Ottwa

(Charles Pope- Opera Canada)  “Heidi Klassen’s Musetta was also outstanding, vocally and theatrically covering a range far beyond the usual camp performance.”

“ Marcello and Musetta…. were sung and acted convincingly by Theodore Baerg and Heidi Klassen…they both fit the production well and gave considerable pleasure with their singing.” (The Ottawa Citizen)

Struass – Die Fledermaus – Rosalinde – Edmonton Opera

(Opera Canada –World Report)  “Heidi Klassen (Rosalinde) was splendidly elegant and sometimes zestfully amusing with her lover Alfred (Benjamin Butterfield). “

(The Journal – Baker)  “Rosalinde demands a soprano with a good low end, and some coloratura as well. Heidi Klassen has the range for the part.”

(Ottawa Citizen)  “Heidi Klassen as Eisenstein’s wife, was splendidly elegant, especially with her very-Italian lover Alfred (Benjamin Butterfield) In the act 11 scene, pretending to be the Hungarian countess….she sang with grandeur.”

“I liked soprano Heidi Klassen as Rosalinde, a magnificent voice with much dramatic power … the intensity of her solo pieces was almost overpowering. It was a pleasure to hear her.”

Puccini – La Boheme – Musetta – Opera Saskatchewan

(The Leader – Post -Regina)  “A word of praise for Ms. Klassen’s Musetta. She played all 3 parts (buffoon, jilted lover and compassionate penitent) to the hilt, nothing held back. Her riotous exploitation in the café scene was pure delight. I thought she stole the show.”

“Her performance of “Quando me’n vo”, was one of the finest moments of the evening, a rousing performance of the waltz.”

Puccini – La Boheme – Musetta – Opera Grand Rapids

“Klassen’s robust voice and stature were perfectly suited to the vivacious Musetta. Her performance of “Quando me’n vo”, was one of the finest moments of the evening, a rousing performance of the waltz.”

Puccini – La Boheme – Musetta – Edmonton Opera

(The Edmonton Journal – Baker)  “Gaetan Laperierre [as] Marcello loves the fiery Musetta, a radiant Heidi Klassen….. her blocking suited her fire and verve. Matching her impulse for foolish impulse, was Laperierre’s Marcello. “

(Charles Pope – Opera Canada) “Heidi Klassen’s Musetta was also outstanding, vocally and theatrically covering a range far beyond the usual camp performance.”

Mozart – Le Nozze di Figaro – Countess Almaviva – Manitoba Opera

(Opera Canada – World Report)  “A remarkably strong cast…” ( Tracy Dahl as Susanna, Dean Peterson as Figaro, Heidi Klassen as The Countess, John Fanning as the Count, David Agler, conductor, and Kelly Robinson Stage Director). ….The best singing of the evening came from the Countess, Heidi Klassen. Her arias were lovely and dignified, with fine lyrical quality.”

(Winnipeg Free Press)  “Heidi Klassen, as the Countess, has a line of seamless beauty.”

Verdi – La Traviata – London Orchestra

(The London Free Press)  “Soprano Heidi Klassen, in the complex role of Violetta…drew tears to my eyes in the heartrending Act 3 letter scene…Again in her wistful aria. Oh come son mutate. I had to swallow hard to contain my emotions. In the character of Violetta with whom the composer was said to have been in a sort love-trance, Verdi painted a musical portrait that shimmers with sonic tenderness. Drenched with expressiveness, her arias call for a vocal range from mezzo to coloratura making Violetta one of the most of difficult soprano roles in opera: Those of us who heard Klassen sing it Wednesday consider ourselves privileged. With looks that match her lusty voice it would be wonderful to see her back…”

Forsyth – Evangeline – Winnipeg

(Winnipeg Free Press)  “Forsyth has struck a mine with this 65 minute cantata featuring soprano Heidi Klassen in the demanding title role. Evangeline’s heart rending narrative, dramatic and musical content is taut, gripping and multi-dimensional. The performance Tuesday went straight to the heart. Heidi Klassen is such a magnificent communicative singer that one would welcome the chance to enumerate all the roles she would be wonderful in.”

 

CONCERT REVIEWS

Dvorak – Stabat Mater – Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(The Record) “Dyck enlisted the best available. Klassen, along with DuBois, were a stunning pair in Fac, ut portem Christi mortem….Klassen went far and beyond vocal range into expression, as she was called upon to hit supersonic pitches and deliver them in tune and in keeping with the mood….it would be difficult, near impossible, to find fault with this presentation.”

Britten – War Requiem – Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(The Record)  “Soloists soprano Heidi Klassen, Paul Frey and Mark Pedrotti. Dyck, having snagged Klassen for the searing Latin soprano role, deserves a medal. Her capacious sonorities and intrepid phrase-radar combined in this outstanding performance, setting Klassen in every line she sang, into the role of the eternally faithful and artistic pacifist. Klassen’s ability to soar and hover over the tumult was just the voice Britten intended for his message of peace.”

Verdi – Requiem – Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(The Record)  “Conductor Howard Dyck has the reputation and personality to attract excellent singers and instrumentalists for such a complicated undertaking…soloists soprano Heidi Klassen, mezzo Linda Maguire ,tenor Paul Frey and bass Bruce Kelly and the Consort Caritatis Choir produced a profound experience….Klassen has a voice of stunning range, clarity, and sonority. Able to peal over the chorus and orchestra, her voice has a wondrous end-of-envelope sparkle. Maguire’s talent is likewise boundless….Frey, like Klassen, can tear your heart out in a leaping line.”

(UW Gazette)  “Both ladies were simply beyond praise…[at the] end the others all sit back and get treated to an astonishing stretch of vocal torture-chamber stuff, going from fortissimo to hushed mid-range and everything in between. Ms. Klassen absolutely triumphed in this diabolical session, with absolute security and gorgeous sound: in a word, thrilling, a fabulous display of vocalism. This was a dream foursome, in short, and we can’t think of any we’ve heard that quite equalled, let alone bettered, this quartet.”

(Reporter)  “Klassen has a voice of stunning range, clarity, and sonority. Able to peal over the chorus and orchestra, her voice has a wondrous end-of-envelope sparkle. She can tear your heart out in a leaping line. It is simply beyond praise. At the end the others all sit back and get treated to an astonishing stretch of vocal feats going from fortissimo to hushed mid-range and everything in between. Ms. Klassen absolutely triumphed in this diabolical session, with absolute security and gorgeous sound: in a word, thrilling, a fabulous display of vocalism”.

Verdi – Requiem – Virtuosi di Praga & Consort Caritatis (recorded live)

(Prague Review)  “The line-up for the concert held in the framework of the Pontos festival (in cooperation with Teris 2002) in the Rudolfinum hall promised for a great evening. Virtuosi di Praga, strengthened by Canadian musicians, the choir Consort Caritatis, soloists Heidi Klassen, Linda Maguire, Paul Frey and Phillip Ens. The Requiem is performed quite often, but only some performances can be awarded top marks. In this case it must be said that the audience really got what they had come for. International cooperation of this type always carries with it a certain risk, but the concert clearly demonstrated that carefully prepared events can be of high artistic value.”

Mendelssohn – Elijah – Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(UW Gazette)  “The K-W Philharmonic choir’s Mendelssohn ‘s Elijah had a standout solo quartet in Heidi Klassen, Norine Burgess, Michael Schade, and Gary Relyea….Ms Klassen was sensational, making these not very memorable arias memorable nevertheless.”

Bach – St. John Passion – Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(UW Gazette) “Again Dyck had a very fine set of soloists. Heidi Klassen, soprano, was superb: not only technically spot-on (as they all were) but she has the drama and power to make her arias major events: the second one, “Zerfliesse mein Herze”, with lovely flutes and bassoon backup, was especially memorable.

(The Record)  “Klassen and the winds of the orchestra produced a beautiful rendition of the aria Zerfliesse, mein Herze particularly because Klassen’s sound is so unusual.

(Reporter) “Heidi Klassen, soprano, was superb: not only technically spot-on but she has the drama and power to make her arias major events: “Zerfliesse mein Herze”, with lovely flutes and bassoon backup, was especially memorable.”

Beethoven – Ninth Symphony – Edmonton Symphony

(The Journal) “The four soloists, Heidi Klassen, Carol Ann Feldstein, Karl Dent, and Russell Braun were probably the best foursome to sing the Ninth the ESO has ever brought together. While individually they sang with art and clarity their timbres meshed very well.”

Mozart – Mass in C Minor – Winnipeg Philharmonic

(Winnipeg Free Press)  “The excellent soloists…..each made an important contribution to a triumphant evening. One could wait a long time, perhaps forever, to hear expressive singing to equal Heidi Klassen’s singing of Et Incarnatus est, from the Mozart Mass.”

Beethoven Ninth Symphony Hamilton Philharmonic

“Soloists Gary Relyea and Richard Margison were accurate and energetic…..soprano Heidi Klassen tended to dominate.” (The Spectator)

Mendelssohn Elijah Kitchener Waterloo Philharmonic

(The Record)  “The divine voices of three soloists… Soprano Heidi Klassen, baritone Gary Relyea and tenor Ben Heppner… Klassen’s rich soprano could not help but be sophisticated and beautiful.” 

Brahms Requiem at Elora Three Centuries Festival

(The Record)  “…some unforgettable moments. Chief among them was the fifth of seven movements, Ihr habt nun Traurigkeit…delivered with exquisite warmth and clarity by Klassen, whose gift for making hard German consonants sound serenely beautiful is rarer then most listeners might suspect. It’s not too fanciful to imagine that if Brahms had such a voice at his disposal in the 1860’s as he fashioned the work, there might have been more then one soprano solo in it.”