Press

Press Quotes

The Salt Lake City Tribune
September 11, 2020

Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".

ConcertoNet.com
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.

Financial Times
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.

Mundo Classico
September 11, 2020

Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.

Copenhagen Post
September 11, 2020

Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.

Opera News
September 11, 2020

Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.

Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.

Opernwelt
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.

The Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2020

Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.

New York Times
September 11, 2020

Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.

El País
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston is impeccable.

Opera Review
January 8, 2018

Saepe non magni quia aliquid reiciendis.

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!

Opera Magazine UK
September 13, 2018

Id reiciendis sapiente ut et sunt eos minima. Di piditate hic culpa ut voluptatem. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra

Badische Zeitung
September 11, 2020

When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament

Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.

Opera News
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.

Chicago Classical Review
December 23, 2015

"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."

Lawrence A. Johnson
Südkurier
September 11, 2020

First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.

Examiner
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.

Skånska Dagbladet
September 11, 2020

Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.

Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.

New York Times

The Best Ever

Opera Today
January 17, 2019

Iste sint occaecati ipsa ab qui consequatur sint qui ea. Molestiae est occaecati omnis laborum eligendi dolorum.

Diario de Sevilla
September 11, 2020

Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.

Houston Press
September 11, 2020

Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.

Financial Times
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.

Politiken
September 11, 2020

Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.

American Operas Today
August 8, 2017

Voluptates voluptatem impedit reprehenderit et optio ea assumenda nostrum.

Dagbladet
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.

Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.

Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.

Kulturepasset
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!

The Arts Fuse
September 11, 2020

BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.

Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020

In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.

Houstonia Magazine
September 11, 2020

Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.

BroadwayWorld.com
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.

Dagbladet ​
September 11, 2020

It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".

The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.

The Theater Times ​
September 11, 2020

Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung
September 11, 2020

The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.

Opernwelt
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.

The Utah Review
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.

El Mondo
September 11, 2020

The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.

The Boston Globe
September 11, 2020

The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.

Press Quotes

The Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2020
Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.
Skånska Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.
Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.
Houston Press
September 11, 2020
Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.
Chicago Classical Review
December 23, 2015
"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."
Lawrence A. Johnson
American Operas Today
August 8, 2017
Voluptates voluptatem impedit reprehenderit et optio ea assumenda nostrum.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.
BroadwayWorld.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.
El Mondo
September 11, 2020
The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
September 11, 2020
The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.
New York Times
The Best Ever
Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.
The Boston Globe
September 11, 2020
The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.
ConcertoNet.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.
Dagbladet ​
September 11, 2020
It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".
Südkurier
September 11, 2020
First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.
New York Times
September 11, 2020
Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.
The Arts Fuse
September 11, 2020
BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.
Copenhagen Post
September 11, 2020
Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.
Houstonia Magazine
September 11, 2020
Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.
Opera Review
January 8, 2018
Saepe non magni quia aliquid reiciendis.
Opera Today
January 17, 2019
Iste sint occaecati ipsa ab qui consequatur sint qui ea. Molestiae est occaecati omnis laborum eligendi dolorum.
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.
Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.
The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.
Mundo Classico
September 11, 2020
Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.
Kulturepasset
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!
Diario de Sevilla
September 11, 2020
Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.
Examiner
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.
Badische Zeitung
September 11, 2020
When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament
The Utah Review
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.
The Salt Lake City Tribune
September 11, 2020
Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".
The Theater Times ​
September 11, 2020
Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.
Politiken
September 11, 2020
Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.
Opera Magazine UK
September 13, 2018
Id reiciendis sapiente ut et sunt eos minima. Di piditate hic culpa ut voluptatem. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra
El País
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is impeccable.

Press Quotes

The Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2020
Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.
New York Times
The Best Ever
El Mondo
September 11, 2020
The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.
The Arts Fuse
September 11, 2020
BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.
Opera Review
January 8, 2018
Saepe non magni quia aliquid reiciendis.
Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.
ConcertoNet.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
September 11, 2020
The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.
Houston Press
September 11, 2020
Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.
The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.
The Salt Lake City Tribune
September 11, 2020
Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.
Kulturepasset
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.
Houstonia Magazine
September 11, 2020
Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.
Badische Zeitung
September 11, 2020
When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament
Diario de Sevilla
September 11, 2020
Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.
Südkurier
September 11, 2020
First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.
El País
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is impeccable.
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.
Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.
New York Times
September 11, 2020
Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.
Skånska Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.
Examiner
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.
The Theater Times ​
September 11, 2020
Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.
The Utah Review
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.
Copenhagen Post
September 11, 2020
Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.
Mundo Classico
September 11, 2020
Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.
Chicago Classical Review
December 23, 2015
"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."
Lawrence A. Johnson
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.
Dagbladet ​
September 11, 2020
It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!
American Operas Today
August 8, 2017
Voluptates voluptatem impedit reprehenderit et optio ea assumenda nostrum.
The Boston Globe
September 11, 2020
The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.
Opera Today
January 17, 2019
Iste sint occaecati ipsa ab qui consequatur sint qui ea. Molestiae est occaecati omnis laborum eligendi dolorum.
BroadwayWorld.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.
Opera Magazine UK
September 13, 2018
Id reiciendis sapiente ut et sunt eos minima. Di piditate hic culpa ut voluptatem. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra
Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.
Politiken
September 11, 2020
Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.

Press Quotes

El País
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston is impeccable.

Südkurier
September 11, 2020

First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.

Diario de Sevilla
September 11, 2020

Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.

American Operas Today
August 8, 2017

Voluptates voluptatem impedit reprehenderit et optio ea assumenda nostrum.

Copenhagen Post
September 11, 2020

Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.

Opera News
September 11, 2020

Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.

The Boston Globe
September 11, 2020

The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.

Opernwelt
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.

Opera Today
January 17, 2019

Iste sint occaecati ipsa ab qui consequatur sint qui ea. Molestiae est occaecati omnis laborum eligendi dolorum.

The Theater Times ​
September 11, 2020

Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.

Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.

Houston Press
September 11, 2020

Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.

Kulturepasset
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.

Opera Review
January 8, 2018

Saepe non magni quia aliquid reiciendis.

Financial Times
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.

Examiner
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.

New York Times
September 11, 2020

Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.

BroadwayWorld.com
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.

Politiken
September 11, 2020

Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.

Opera News
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.

Financial Times
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.

Houstonia Magazine
September 11, 2020

Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.

Skånska Dagbladet
September 11, 2020

Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.

The Arts Fuse
September 11, 2020

BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.

Opera Magazine UK
September 13, 2018

Id reiciendis sapiente ut et sunt eos minima. Di piditate hic culpa ut voluptatem. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra

The Salt Lake City Tribune
September 11, 2020

Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".

The Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2020

Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.

Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.

Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020

In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.

Badische Zeitung
September 11, 2020

When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament

Dagbladet ​
September 11, 2020

It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".

Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020

Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.

ConcertoNet.com
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.

Bachtrack
September 11, 2020

The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!

Mundo Classico
September 11, 2020

Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.

Chicago Classical Review
December 23, 2015

"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."

Lawrence A. Johnson
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.

Opernwelt
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.

The Utah Review
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.

Dagbladet
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.

The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.

New York Times

The Best Ever

Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020

Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung
September 11, 2020

The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.

El Mondo
September 11, 2020

The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.

Press Quotes

Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.
Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.
Kulturepasset
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!
New York Times
The Best Ever
Politiken
September 11, 2020
Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.
Opera Today
January 17, 2019
Iste sint occaecati ipsa ab qui consequatur sint qui ea. Molestiae est occaecati omnis laborum eligendi dolorum.
The Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2020
Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.
Texas Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.
Badische Zeitung
September 11, 2020
When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!
The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.
El País
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is impeccable.
The Boston Globe
September 11, 2020
The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.
Chicago Classical Review
December 23, 2015
"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."
Lawrence A. Johnson
Skånska Dagbladet
September 11, 2020
Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.
Copenhagen Post
September 11, 2020
Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.
Neue Zürcher Zeitung
September 11, 2020
The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.
ConcertoNet.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.
Südkurier
September 11, 2020
First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.
Houston Press
September 11, 2020
Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.
Dagbladet ​
September 11, 2020
It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.
The Salt Lake City Tribune
September 11, 2020
Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".
American Operas Today
August 8, 2017
Voluptates voluptatem impedit reprehenderit et optio ea assumenda nostrum.
The Arts Fuse
September 11, 2020
BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.
New York Times
September 11, 2020
Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.
Houstonia Magazine
September 11, 2020
Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.
Opera Magazine UK
September 13, 2018
Id reiciendis sapiente ut et sunt eos minima. Di piditate hic culpa ut voluptatem. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra
Examiner
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.
Chicago Classical Review
September 11, 2020
In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.
Opera News
September 11, 2020
Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.
The Theater Times ​
September 11, 2020
Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.
Houston Chronicle
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.
Financial Times
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.
Diario de Sevilla
September 11, 2020
Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.
Bachtrack
September 11, 2020
As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.
BroadwayWorld.com
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.
Opernwelt
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.
Opera Review
January 8, 2018
Saepe non magni quia aliquid reiciendis.
El Mondo
September 11, 2020
The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.
Mundo Classico
September 11, 2020
Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.
The Utah Review
September 11, 2020
Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.
December 23, 2015
Critical Acclaim

Chicago Classical Review

"The brief respite between the summer and fall music seasons was once again filled in wonderful style by the Collaborative Works Festival. American song was this year’s theme, and the terrific program at the Poetry Foundation—concentrating on composers influenced by the Transcendentalist movement—was highlighted by the sensitive and illuminating performances of Nicholas Phan and Nicole Heaston."

Lawrence A. Johnson
September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

BroadwayWorld.com

Nicole Heaston's lyric soprano voice is full of nuance, passion and beauty bel-canto singing at its best. Pamina's Lament was delivered with disparity and pure vocal perfection.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

ConcertoNet.com

Nicole Heaston was warmly welcomed back to Houston and gave a superb account of Pamina. Her voice is creamy, fully-formed and flexible.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Houston Chronicle

Nicole Heaston’s warm, supple soprano is ideal for Pamina. She sings and acts with the controlled passion and composure appropriate to a Mozart heroine - especially eloquent in her Act 2 aria lamenting Tamino’s seeming indifference to her.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Examiner

Nicole Heaston offers the astonishing accompanying vocals for the piece. She has a captivating, smooth sound that compliments the graceful moves of the dancers.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Mundo Classico

Usually, Arminda is unbearable, so cute and cheesy, but in this case it is an opportunity to discover the creamy timbre and intense projection of Nicole Heaston's decidedly exceptional soprano.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Financial Times

Nicole Heaston fires up Arminda’s music with élan.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Skånska Dagbladet

Her Alcina was clean grandiose: perfect almost limitless soprano with very beautiful and exactly baroque sound with great empathy and outstanding scenic charisma.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Politiken

Alcina's party was instead handled by American Nicole Heaston who saved the evening. She also sang Alcina at the premiere of Francisco Negrin set in Oslo in February last year and again this time she delivered creamy, free, clean and focused vocal art.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Copenhagen Post

Special credit must be given to Nicole Heaston in the role of Alcina, who stepped in for absence due to sickness. Heaston delivered an incredible performance. She was the only performer to really delve into the depths of her character’s and the opera’s psychological complexities.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Opernwelt

Nicole Heaston gives Alcina vocal honor as vamp with offensive eroticism, because she is ruler of the heart. She's a brilliant singer, powerful with secure coloratura. And the great aria in the second act, Ah mio cor, she does not sing as desperate in anticipation in relentless decline. The more they escape and the more it drives out her claws. This Alcina, who tames men, may itself be a beast.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Dagbladet

Nicole Heaston, who is a magnificent Alcina, vocal and stage throughout the performance, hitting every moment so precisely, and so exceedingly beautiful that it is as if the entire performance one is holding its breath in excruciating tension.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Kulturepasset

Nicole Heaston who sings the title role, excels in the role of Alcina. Her voice is beautiful and she has a fabulous singing technique. Alcina is vocally a role of great challenges that require physical strength and endurance. She mastered it and gives us an experience of a exhaustible profit!

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

New York Times

Alcina rightly emerges as the focal point around which the action turns. She is splendidly portrayed by the American soprano Nicole Heaston, whose versatility is underscored by fine singing in Alcina’s wide ranging, musically superb arias. Ms. Heaston’s radiant voice is handsomely resonant, with a slight but attractive shimmer. She brings brilliance to Alcina’s showpiece arias but is especially moving in Alcina’s devastating final aria, sung when her magical powers have failed her.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Financial Times

Nicole Heaston is an exception in the title role, in a performance that ranges from towering rage to aching grief, always moving, utterly in command of each note’s shading.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Chicago Classical Review

In three selections from Copland’s Old American Songs, native Chicagoan Nicole Heaston was, in a word, stunning. The familiar “Simple Gifts” was a revelation delivered with her shimmering voice. The spinning lines of “Zion’s Walls” seemed endless on her limpid soprano, and the central rendition of “At the River” reduced a fair complement of the audience in tears. Heaston followed her Copland performance with John Harbison’s Miribai Songs. What was most striking about Heaston’s performance was the outsized personality she conveyed in Harbison’s songs. She showed coy defiance in the rolling “It’s true I went to the market,” and cultivated a deviously maniacal air in “All I was doing was breathing.” “Why Mira can’t go back to her old house” was fittingly licentious, and the soprano provided a brooding interpretation of “The clouds.” Heaston’s singing was technically immaculate throughout.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Chicago Classical Review

Aaron Copland’s Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is rarely heard due to its length and challenges. Thursday’s remarkable performance by Nicole Heaston proved the highlight of the evening with the Chicago-born soprano delivering a genuine tour de force. Why have we not heard this wonderful artist in her hometown before? Poised and communicative, Heaston sang with a luminous, flexible tone and crystal-clear enunciation. She seemed to embody the essence of each setting in her expressive face and physical presence. Heaston put across the drama of “There came a wind like a bugle” and “Sleep is supposed to be” as surely as the skittery humor of “Going to Heaven!” She was sassy in “Why do they shut me out of Heaven?” and coyly charming in “Dear March, come in!” Most strikingly, Heaston conveyed the sense of longing and sadness, as with “Heart, we will forget him” and the end-of life rumination of “The chariot.” We need to hear Nicole Heaston back in Chicago soon.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Opera News

Aaron Copeland’s cycle Twelve Poems of Emily Dickinson is a long, demanding sing, but Nicole Heaston rose to the occasion splendidly. The soprano graced “Heart, we will forget him” with a wealth of dynamics, and the sheer amplitude of her voice was all the more impressive given the delicately floated conclusion to “The chariot”.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Chicago Tribune

Copland's wonderfully evocative distillations of poetic mood and atmosphere drew an altogether superb performance from singer Nicole Heaston, with (Michael) Brown again working wonders at the keyboard. The dozen songs are not easy to sustain as a musico-poetic unity, but the Chicago-born soprano did so beautifully and insightfully: singer and song became one.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Salt Lake City Tribune

Soprano Nicole Heaston balanced poignancy and pluck in her portrayal of Countess Rosina Almaviva....a gorgeous performance of the aria "Dove sono".

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Utah Review

Nicole Heaston, in her Utah Opera debut as Countess Almaviva, was absolutely stunning. Her portrayal was nuanced and regal, and her aria in Act 3 had the audience holding their breath in awe of her dynamic range and beautiful delivery.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Opera News

Nicole Heaston as Countess Almaviva is convincing as a neglected wife, trying to maintain dignity but regain her husband’s affection. Heaston’s third act “Dove sono” succinctly expressed the Countess’ serene decency with beautifully controlled legato and tenderness, especially through breathtaking pianissimo passages.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Dagbladet ​

It's tempting to hang credit for it on two hooks : ... a superb Nicole Heaston as the Countess and Rinaldo Alessandrini's musical leadership. Nicole Heaston, who also incapable of stopping the action is open to the great emotional depth in cavatina "Porgi Amor", the aria "Dove sono , in biei momenti" and in the final scene "Perdono ".

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Bachtrack

The vocal highlight of the evening, however, was the Countess of Nicole Heaston, her honeyed soprano taking on a silvery hue in her high register. Opening with a beautifully sung “Porgi, amor”, she appeared an effortless tragedienne, yet soon after, especially in her scenes with Susanna and Cherubino, she opened up to reveal a most human character. Heaston’s “Dove sono” was heartbreakingly sung, and it was wonderful to finally hear it sung by a soprano with a good trill!

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Bachtrack

As Gabriel and Eva, soprano Nicole Heaston delivered a tone that felt like the very beam of heaven. Bright and colorful, her voice ushers listeners into the music like a gracious host. While she made it look easy, the trills and ornamental flourishes that Heaston tossed off betrayed deft attention to technique and detail.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Texas Classical Review

Heaston sang with a command and poignancy that nearly turned Adina, rather than Nemorino, into the opera’s emotional center. Rather than the light-voiced soubrette that companies often cast in the role, Heaston was a lyric soprano able to treat Donizetti’s music to fullness and warmth. As Adina entered, musing on Tristan and Isolde, Heaston’s vibrant singing gave a glimpse of the legendary lovers’ passion. But when Donizetti’s playfulness took over, Heaston’s sparkle and deftness exuded Adina’s wiliness. And in the heartfelt aria at the opera’s turning point, Heaston combined tenderness and fervor, serving notice that a comedy can have depth.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Houston Press

Look no further than to Houston Grand Opera and its somewhat sparkling production of Gaetano Donizetti's beguiling comedy The Elixir of Love to witness Battle's avatar, Nicole Heaston, fortunately sans diva antics. An HGO Studio alumna, Heaston is the sure thing, a complete artist. We have watched her grow through leading roles since 1998 at HGO: Susanna inMarriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Gilda in Rigoletto, Pamina in Magic Flute. But now is her time in the sun. She has transformed into an artist of rare beauty. (HGO had better be proud of her!) She conquers the stage as Adina....what a performer, and what a singer. She sails through the difficult coloratura, most of it in the second act, with complete control and always with clarity of diction, a pulsing rich timbre, and surety of character.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Houstonia Magazine

Adina, sung by the exemplary HGO studio alumna and soprano Nicole Heaston. On stage, she radiates even before she opens her mouth—no wonder everyone falls in love with her. The plot may be light, but Donizetti’s bel canto arias are technically no joke. Heaston made every arpeggio, range leap and coloratura flourish sound effortless. Intonation: perfect. Bel canto style: quintessential. Her voice is mint.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Boston Musical Intelligencer ​

Nicole Heaston anchored the production as a model Countess: regal and world-weary. Her “Porgi, amor” was staged by-the-book as a lonely bedroom confessional, while her third-act aria unfolded in an ornate, baroquely painted armchair—a beautiful touch by set designer John Conklin. It was an effective progression for the Countess, literally sitting up and growing a backbone to face her philandering husband. At the end of the aria, Heaston basked in applause without breaking character, staring out at the house with defiant eyes, amplifying the Countess’s dignity and newfound resolve.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Theater Times ​

Heaston’s arias were showstoppers in their emotional quality and vocal gold. A particularly sublime moment was the return to the A section in “Dove sono,” the Countess’s aria reminiscing about the beautiful moments from her past when the Count still loved her fervently. In this, Heaston’s intense pianissimo singing contrasted beautifully her opening of the aria.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Arts Fuse

BLO’s production was certainly cast with aplomb. The ladies, headlined by the formidable duo of Emily Birsan’s Susanna and Nicole Heaston’s Countess, shined. Both characters run the show...Heaston was spellbinding. Here’s a singer who commands the stage, not just with her voice but simply by setting foot on it: when she’s there, it’s hard to take your eyes off of her. And my how she can sing. Heaston delivered both of the Countess’s arias gorgeously, “Dove sono” particularly so: in it, holding the audience in the acoustically-challenged hall in rapt attention for its duration.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Bachtrack

Nicole Heaston's plummy, mellow soprano captured the Countess’ wistful regret in her two arias at the turn her life has taken. Her stage presence made the Count’s neglect even more inexplicable.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

The Boston Globe

The true stars of the evening were two women making their first appearances on the BLO stage...Soprano Nicole Heaston was a radiant Countess, her warm voice carrying hints of wisdom, mischief, and sorrow. She slowly pulled back the volume of her voice at the climax of her tenderly devastating “Dove sono i bei momenti,” but lost not an ounce of poignancy or power. Her onstage chemistry with Birsan as Susanna was the production’s most exciting, and the way their voices melded and played off each other was stunning.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

The emotional highlight of the evening is Alcina's aria "Ah, mio cor!", Which shows the sorceress in the conflict between revenge thirst and love readiness. The American soprano Nicole Heaston, who had to step in for a short-term cast change in the title role, here developed effortless vocal radiance and fullness and stands the demanding game of Alcina on the whole brilliant.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Badische Zeitung

When Alcina sings her moving lament "Ah! mio cor" in the second act, and the stage prospect of an eighteenth-century South Sea island backdrop goes down, it's moving symbolism. Incidentally, Nicole Heaston does that with a gorgeous affect. The American soprano, who took over the role shortly before the premiere of Kate Royal, also proves great mastery in baroque melismatics. Nicole Heaston's strength is the baroque lament

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Südkurier

First, a cancellation was to cope with shortly before the premiere, just in the title role. After the announcement of the theater, Kate Royal had to resign as Alcina "for personal reasons from the production". Instead, Nicole Heaston was in the title role to see, to hear - and to admire. Heaston had mastered the Alcina at other stages with flying colors. In Basel, too, she brought out the full splendor of her strong soprano and lusciousness of her body. She blew up all shackles. In her aria "Si, son quella, non plù bella" she discovers that she loves - and the audience discovers an A-class soprano. Heaston holds the high level to the very end, especially in her despairing aria when she sees Alcina lose her power and see her empire destroyed ("Mi Restano le lagrime"). There were repeated applause games.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Opernwelt

Nicole Heaston, five days before the premiere jumped in, shows not only in Alcina's desperation aria Ah Mio Cor, how expressive, nuanced and colorful is her soprano: she has also instinctively internalized the idea of the director, a woman who knows what she does but not what she really wants.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

El Mondo

The American soprano Nicole Heaston gave credibility at all times to her interpretation of the courted Mrs. Alice Ford, given the clear and clean record of her voice, implemented with a well-proportioned capacity for action.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Diario de Sevilla

Wonderful the quartet of gossips: Heaston's voice is radiant, limpid, clear as Alice.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

El País

Nicole Heaston is impeccable.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Houston Chronicle

Nicole Heaston didn’t face such challenges in her 5th movement solo, her soprano soaring in and out of its effortlessly beautiful upper register.

September 11, 2020
Critical Acclaim

Texas Classical Review

Brahms gave the soprano soloist only one solo, but Nicole Heaston made it count. Her voice welled up with a richness and generosity that let Brahm’s soaring lines reach out like an embrace. For music that describes giving and finding comfort, that was just right.

Critical Acclaim

New York Times

The Best Ever

January 17, 2019
Critical Acclaim

Opera Today

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September 13, 2018
Critical Acclaim

Opera Magazine UK

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August 8, 2017
Critical Acclaim

American Operas Today

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January 8, 2018
Critical Acclaim

Opera Review

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