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Heller, Patricia

Patricia HellerViola

Patricia Heller joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra’s viola section in 1986. She has served as Principal Viola in several productions over the years, and she can be seen onstage in the Company video of Orlando Furioso with Marilyn Horne.

Like many of her colleagues, Patricia had the advantage of a musical family. From her mother and father she learned the joys of choral singing, and from the Denver public schools she gained the experience of orchestral playing. Performances of Dvorak and Tchaikovsky with the All-City and All-State Orchestras were deciding factors in Patricia’s choice of career.

Ms. Heller studied viola with Lee Yeingst of the Denver Symphony, then Max Aronoff and Toby Appel at Philadelphia’s New School of Music. She studied with Katò Havas in England and credits Havas’s New Approach with providing the musical skills necessary to sustain the physical challenges inherent in the Opera performance schedule while avoiding serious injury.

Patricia makes her home in Daly City, where she is learning to garden in harmony with the fog.