Spinto soprano Heather Hjelle’s “most potent vocal asset is direct projection … one is curious to hear her gifts in that [Wagnerian] repertoire.” - La Renatona’s Chicago Midsummer Centenary.
Heather made her professional debut with the role of Santuzza in Main Street Opera’s production of Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, shortly after covering Metropolitan Opera soprano, Alexandra LoBianco, in the same role with Opera Steamboat. She recently starred in the title role of La Gioconda with Opera MODO.
In the 2021-22 season, Ms. Hjelle premiered Jennifer Higdon’s new song cycle, Love Sweet with ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in New Ulm, MN. She was also heard singing Wagnerian repertoire with Kenwood Symphony orchestra and in concert with St. Croix Valley Opera and Bethany Lutheran College. Most recently, she headlined with Opera Festival Chicago in their celebration of Renata Tebaldi’s work. Shortly thereafter, she was invited to sing with the American Wagner Project in Reno, Nevada where she trained with some of the leading dramatic voice legends of our time.
Ms. Hjelle has performed internationally with Operafestival di Roma multiple times. Italian audiences have heard her in the title role of Puccini’s Suor Angelica in Rome, and as Donna Anna in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in Orvieto. She has also performed the title role of Rusalka with Toronto Summer Opera Workshop in Canada.
A Minnesota native, Heather teaches vocal lessons at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, where she earned degrees in theater and music. She received her master of music in vocal performance at North Park University in Chicago.