“The one who touched me most deeply was Helena van Heel.
A singer who manages with her velvety voice to talk to you deep in your soul.” – Apeldoorns Nieuwsblad
The Swedish-Dutch mezzo-soprano Helena van Heel has a wide-ranging repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music and is highly praised for her expressive interpretations of the great works of J.S. Bach, her chamber music performances and Lied recitals.
“Helena’s sound has clarity and fullness. She has a rich palette of expression
and she makes varied use of it.” – Norrbottens Kuriren
Helena sang with the Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century, Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, Residentie Orkest The Hague, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Phion Orchestra and the North Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. She worked with the conductors Frans Brüggen, Eric Ericson, Reinbert de Leeuw, Peter Eötvös, Tõnu Kaljuste, Christof Poppen and Risto Joost. Helena collaborated with the New European Ensemble, Asko|Schönberg Ensemble, Rietveld Ensemble, Baroque Opera Amsterdam and Corelli Consort Tallinn. Festival appearances include the Donaueschinger Musiktage, the Gergiev Festival and the Holland Festival.
“Helena van Heel’s interpretation contained finely worked details and a perfect intonation.” – Sirp, Tallinn
Helena also creates her own productions in which existing compositions are combined with pieces specially written for her by composers such as Jeff Hamburg¹, Max Knigge², Willem Boogman³ and Thomas Jennefelt⁴. Since 2020 Helena van Heel has been artistic director of Stichting Noorderklank, which creates new music theater productions like Een oog in zee (premiere in 2022), based on the myth of Ariadne and Theseus.
“Helena van Heel captivated the audience with her singing, which was without the slightest reservation stunning…
The modal tonality of ‘Den signade dag’ had an almost mystic interpretation.
The solos that she sang gave rise to a dream-like intimacy that kept you under its spell until the very last note.”
– Apeldoorns Nieuwsblad
Helena’s CD Ave maris stella was released in December 2018 and recently the Etcetera label released the CD Songs Along the Way with music by Jeff Hamburg and his arrangement of Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, where Helena sings with the New European Ensemble.
“Everything on this wonderful CD is equally delicate; the music, the underlying idea, the instrumentation, the
playing and above all the soulful and in all registers pure singing of Helena van Heel.”
– Klassieke Zaken
“A beautiful arrangement, magnificently performed by Helena van Heel together with this ensemble.”
Together with pianist Naomi Tamura, Helena van Heel has recorded Berlioz’ Les nuits d’été and Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen. In September 2020, this duo premiered the cycle Sieben Liebeslieder by the Swedish composer Thomas Jennefelt for the Dutch public.
“Helena van Heel made a deep impression due to a unique combination of strength and fragility…
She brought together this impeccable technique with a sensitivity that was deeply moving.”
– Brabants Dagblad
Planned in the 21-22 season are: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, St Matthew Passion & Johannes Passion, Mahler’s Kindertotenlieder, a recital on the 60th anniversary of the Vrienden van het Lied and the premiere of Een oog in zee.
“Yet it is especially alto Helena van Heel who attracts attention with her intensely sung melody lines.”
– Haarlems Dagblad
¹Songs Along the Way (2018) & G. Mahler, Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen for mezzo, string trio, clarinet and harp.
²Chamber Music James Joyce (2018) & H. Berlioz, Les nuits d’été for mezzo and string quartet.
³Een oog in zee (2021), a music theater production including J. Haydn, Arianna a Naxos for mezzo, horn/bullhorn and accordion.
⁴XXXIV James Joyce (2018) for mezzo, string trio and clarinet.