Rowan Hellier – Presse

Rheingold (Wellgunde) in der Royal Festival Hall (Southbank Centre), unter Dirigat von Vladimir Jurowski, 2018

“…so compelling was the performance…the silken-voiced Rheinmaidens (Sofia Fomina, Rowan Hellier, Lucie Špičková)… led an impressive cast.”Fiona Maddocks, The Observer

“the voices of the three Rhinemaidens – Sofia Fomina, Rowan Hellier and Lucie Špičková – blended together beautifully in their trios. … The Rhinemaidens’ apostrophe to the gold – the final moment of joy before the work plunges towards catastrophe – swirled and danced.” – Tim Ashley, The Guardian

“Rowan Hellier an excellent Wellgunde.” –  Colin Clark, Seen and Heard International

“the three Rhinemaidens (effortlessly sung and harmonised by Sofia Fomina, Rowan Hellier and Lucie Špicková) looked down from high in the Royal Festival Hall’s choir seats” – Mark Valencia, bachtrack

“Meanwhile, Sofia Fomina, Rowan Hellier and Lucie Špičková blended very well as Woglinde, Wellgunde and Flosshilde respectively.” – Sam Smith, Music OMH


Il turco in Italia – Rossini (Zaida), Mozarteumorchester, Salzburger Landestheater 2016

“Neben ihr Rowan Hellier, die als Gegenspielerin Zaida (des Sultans frühere Gespielin hat die Hoffnung noch nicht aufgegeben) lyrische, samtene Farben einbringt, im Zickenkrieg aber auch nicht wenig Attacke bereit hält.” – Reinhard Kriechbaum, DrehPunktKultur

(As her opponent Zaida, Rowan Hellier brought lyrical and velvety colours to the role, but also had vocal power at the ready for the catfight.)


Brokeback Mountain – Wuorinen (Lureen), Mozarteumorchester, Salzburger Landestheater 2016

“Hailey Clark (Alma) und Rowan Hellier (Lureen) machen als aufgekratzte Gattinnen mit gelegentlicher Neigung zum Hausfrauenlamento ihre Sache ebenfalls ausgezeichnet.” – Markus Thiel,

(Hailey Clark (Alma) and Rowan Hellier (Lureen) are superb as the scorned wives with an occasional inclination to the Housewife’s Lament.)


“Aus der Vielzahl von Nebenfiguren überzeugten…Rowan Hellier (Jacks Ehefrau Lureen).” – Florian Amort, Opernkritik

(From the many smaller roles, Rowan Hellier convinced as Jack’s wife Lureen.)


“Von den vielen kleineren Rollen stechen die beiden Frauen Hailey Clark sowie Rowan Hellier hervor.” – Helmut Christian Mayer, Kurier/Opernnetz

(From the many smaller roles, the two wives Hailey Clark and Rowan Hellier stood out.)


“Hailey Clark und Rowan Hellier sind die beiden Ehefrauen, starke Charaktere.” – Reinhard Kriechbaum, Wiener Zeitung

(Hailey Clark and Rowan Hellier are the two wives, both strong characters.)


Carmen – Bizet (Mercédès), Felsenreitschule, Salzburg 2015 – cond. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

“Die Frasquita war Laura Nicorescu, Mercedes Rowan Hellier, beide hübsch und mit auffallend gut ausgebildeten Stimmen versehen.” – Peter Skorepa, MerkerOnline

(Frasquita was played by Laura Nicorescu, Mercedes by Rowan Hellier, both pretty and with outstandingly well-trained voices.)


“Laura Nicorescu und Rowan Hellier bestechen als Zigeunerinnen-Duo in der Kartenszene”- Traunsteiner Tagblatt, Reinhard Kriechbaum

(Laura Nicorescu and Rowan Hellier captivate as the gypsy duo in the Card Scene.)


“Laura Nicorescu  als Frasquita und Rowan Hellier als Mercedes singen tadellos”- Helmut Christian Mayer, Opernnetz

(Laura Nicorescu as Frasquita and Rowan Hellier as Mercedes sing flawlessly.)


Dido and Aeneas – Purcell (Dido), Trevor Pinnock and Friends, Wigmore Hall, London (October 2015)

“Our doomed heroine was Rowan Hellier, her glossy mezzo-soprano fiercely emotional from the start.”- Neil Fisher, The Times

“Rowan Hellier was a beautifully poised and dignified Dido. She sang with a lovely even, strong mezzo-soprano voice which gave the music a sculpted quality, yet was touching too. We were able to appreciate both the beauty of Purcell’s music and the emotions behind it.” – Robert Hugill,



Il mondo della luna – Haydn (Lisetta), Salzburger Landestheater cond. Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (September 2015)

„Bei den Damen sticht klar Rowan Hellier als Lisetta mit dunklem, samtigen klang hervor.“ –  Tiroler Tageszeitung

(Of the women, Rowan Hellier stood out as Lisetta, with her dark, velvety tones.)


„Die Mezzosopranistin Rowan Hellier bringt als Haushälterin Lisetta ebenfalls viel Charme ein.“- Reinhardt Kriechbaum, DreiPunktKultur

(The mezzo soprano Rowan Hellier brought lots of charm to the role of housekeeper Lisetta.)


“Überzeugend war vor allem Maximilian Krummen als fantasiereicher Liebhaber Ecclitico, Tamara Ivanis als romantisch-sehnsuchtsvolle Flaminia und Rowan Hellier als hochtoupierte Haushaltshilfe Lisetta.” – BR Klassik

(Especially convincing [was]…Rowan Hellier as the highly-beehived home help Lisetta.)


Adriano in Siria, J.C. Bach (Adriano), Classical Opera, Britten Theatre, London (April 2015)

“In this production, there’s some accomplished singing from Rowan Hellier as a forthright Adriano.”- George Hall, The Guardian


“The singing is nimble and stylish…In the castrati roles of Adriano and the prince Farnaspe, Rowan Hellier and Erica Eloff deliver glitter and limpidity.” – Anna Picard, The Times


“As Adriano, mezzo-soprano Rowan Hellier was appropriately restless and headstrong….the lovely richness of her tone gave stature to the Emperor despite his fickle caprices, while in higher registers her voice shone beautifully.”- Claire Seymour, Opera Today


“There’s no weak link in this young cast: mezzo Rowan Hellier deals ably with the other castrato role.”- Michael Church, The Independent



Das Rheingold (extracts), London Philharmonic Orchestra cond. Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall, London (January 2015)

“…Rowan Hellier [in] the very classy trio of Rheinmaidens.”- Tim Ashley, The Guardian


Dunedin Consort, Handel Messiah, St Johns Kirk, Perth (December 2014)

“Mezzo Rowan Hellier had gentle, subtle grace.” – Kate Molleson, The Guardian


“Alto Rowan Hellier shone in (her) gentler, reflective contributions.”- Ken Walton, The Scotsman


Junges Ensemble Berlin Chor, Honegger König David, Rondeau Production ROP6088 (November 2014)

“Rowan Hellier…often managing Honegger’s less than lyrical vocal lines with an ease eclipsing [her] recorded predecessors.” – Patrick Stearns, Gramophone


The Trial – Glass (Frau Grubach/Washerwoman), MTW, Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden (October 2014)

“There are standout cameos from Rowan Hellier, Paul Curievici, and Gwion Thomas. I only wish they had had more to get their teeth into.” – Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph


“…the cast project just the right blend of gallows humour, with Rowan Hellier…bringing real beauty to [her] arias.”– Michael Church, The Independent


“Rowan Hellier’s bright clear mezzo, as wife of the court usher and washerwoman, conveyed wonderfully both the sensuality and sobriety of the roles.” – Peter Reynolds, bachtrack


“…the vocally rounded mezzo Rowan Hellier deal[t] well with Kafka’s casual misogyny in the female role.” – Mark Valencia,


Il ritorno dUlisse in patria – Monteverdi (Penelope), Iford Manor cond. Christian Curnyn (July 2014)

“Rowan Hellier’s fine mezzo embodies the dignity of this suffering in a tightly focused performance.”- Rian Evans, The Guardian


“The rich-toned Rowan Hellier drew as much lyrical line as she dared from Penelope’s long recitatives, bringing out the character’s essential integrity and tenacity rather than languishing in self-pity.” – Rian Evans, Opera

“Mezzo Rowan Hellier makes a noble, troubled Penelope, her rich lyric tone a huge asset.” – George Hall, The Stage

“Here experience tended to tell: standouts had to be Rowan Hellier as a noble, plangent Penelope with rich mezzo tones throughout.” – Sue Loder, Opera Today


Dunedin Consort, Mozart Requiem – Gramophone Award Winner, Linn Records CKD 449

“Ms. Hellier’s fruity timbre melds well… and she sings with superb control and composure.” – Joseph Newsome, Voix des Arts


Dunedin Consort – Mozart Requiem, Lammermuir Festival – St Mary’s, Haddington (September 2013)

“From this inferno rang out Rowan Hellier’s wonderfully mature, powerful and warm solo mezzo-soprano voice.” – Alan Coady,


BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Alexander Verdernikov, Alasdair Nicolson Premiere, St. Magnus International Festival (June 2013)

“Complementing these lively musical narratives was a world premier by festival director Alasdair Nicolson, Shadows On The Wall (Five Hauntings For Voice And Orchestra). Mezzo soprano Rowan Hellier was compelling, with her rich, matt velvet tone, as she performed these haunted and expressive melodies with focus, drama and clarity.” – Rosenna East, The Herald


Vanitas – Sciarrino, Staatsoper Berlin (2013)

“Mezzosopranistin Rowan Hellier spielte die Rolle der Sängerin als ungelenke Marionettenpuppe….im Verlauf des Stücks…bewies, dass sie auch über nuancenreiche Stimmkraft verfügt. Ihre artistische Leistung war zu bewundern, musste sie gegen Schluss sogar über den Boden robbend singen. Verdientermaßen erhielt sie vom Publikum am Ende der Vorstellung den meisten Applaus und einige Bravo-Rufe.” – Udo Pakolt, Online Merker

(Mezzo soprano Rowan Hellier played the role of the singer as an angular marionette puppet…in the course of the piece she proved that she possesses richly-nuanced vocal power. Her artistic achievement was to be admired, towards the end she had to sing crawling on the floor. Deservedly she received the most applause and bravo calls at the end of the performance.)


“Rowan Hellier, mit Schnecken über den Ohren und Mittelscheitel, schwarzen Pumps und Hosenträgern, meistert die schwierige szenische Aufgabe mit Bravour, setzt dazu eine kernige, runde Stimme für die Lieder ein” – Ingrid Wanja, Der Opernfreund

(Rowan Hellier, with centre parting and hair in buns over her ears, black pumps and braces, mastered the difficult scenic task with bravura, singing the songs in a round, full-bodied voice.)


Der Kaiser von Atlantis – Ullmann (Der Trommler), Staatsoper Berlin (February 2013)

“Rowan Hellier gave a stand-out performance as the Drummer.” – Rebecca Schmid, Opera Today


“der Trommler, fast schon dramatisch die eindringliche Altistin Rowan Hellier, kamen tatsächlich wie zerbrechliche Spielfiguren daher.” – Irene Costantin, Neues Deutschland

(The Drummer was played as a fragile action figure by the already almost dramatic and haunting Alto Rowan Hellier.)


“[Rowan Hellier as] the singing Drummer was vocally excellent.” – Udo Badelt, Der Tagesspiegel


“There was excellent support from mezzo-soprano Rowan Hellier as the Drummer.” – Ingrid Wanja, Der Opernfreund


Carmen (Carmen Highlights), The Gannochy Trusts 75th Birthday Concert, Perth Concert Hall (June 2012)

“Rowan Hellier, dressed in a bright scarlet satin dress carrying a red carnation, sang the Habanera and Seguedilla simply beautifully.” – David Smythe, BachTrack


“Extracts from Bizet’s Carmen, featuring superb Perth-born mezzo Rowan Hellier in the title role.” – Michael Tumelty, The Herald Scotland


Lucio Silla – Mozart (Cecilio), Classical Opera Company, Cadogan Hall, London (March 2012)

“Rowan Hellier as Cecilio is a strongly focused, bright-hued mezzo.” – Hilary Finch, The Times


“Rowan Hellier, as Cecilio, delivered the other really excellent performance of the evening and was the singer that impressed me the most. She possesses a wide mezzo range, with a dark edge in the lower register and clear, easy high notes in the top of her voice, which she is capable of sustaining above the orchestra with remarkable ease. Her tone is warm and varied and she also displayed an elegant, delicate legato line, particularly during her final aria.” – Margarida Mota-Bull, Seen and Heard International


“[Rowan Hellier’s] mezzo…was agile, characterful and almost casually virtuosic.” – Peter Reed, Classical Source


“Rowan Hellier as the hero Cecilio…won over the audience completely with her extraordinarily warm voice, which has an astonishingly beautiful and introspective quality to it.” – Tullia Giersberg, British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies


The Rape of Lucretia – Britten (Lucretia), British Youth Opera (September 2011)

“And at the centre of everything, the Lucretia of the young Scottish mezzo Rowan Hellier is totally gripping, neurotically yet credibly acted, superbly sung in a rich, expressive contralto-like timbre.” – Richard Morrison, The Times


“There was a real intensity here, from the almost aggressive purity of Rowan Hellier’s Lucretia.” – Robert Thicknesse, Opera Now


“In the title role, Rowan Hellier switched from long-suffering devotion, to impassioned rejection of Tarquinius’s demands, to all-consuming guilt, her maturing Mezzo richly expressive.” – Margaret Davies, Opera Magazine


“Sung with fierce sweetness by Hellier” – Anna Picard, The Independent



Le Nozze di Figaro – Mozart (Cherubino), Welsh National Opera

“…a fine Cherubino from Rowan Hellier” – Crackerjack


“Rowan Hellier as Cherubino gave a fine performance and genuinely seemed to be enjoying all the frivolity of her role – even the masquerade.” – Primi Divi


Oxford Lieder Festival (October 2009)

“Hellier’s sublime performance of Brahms’s famous lullaby was a highlight…Hellier demonstrated both vocal and dramatic prowess to give compelling accounts of these songs.” – The Oxford Times – Judith Weir, Barbican

“sung with a real sense of celebration by Rowan Hellier”- The Independent



Rowan Hellier


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