Ben Heppner

born 14 January 1956 Murrayville (British Columbia)

Picture of Ben Heppner

Ben Heppner sings Il trovatore: Di quella pira

Ben Heppner sings Turandot: Nessun dorma
In RA format

Ben Heppner sings Die Walküre: Winterstürme wichen dem Wonnemond
In RA format

Ben Heppner sings Lohengrin: Nun sei bedankt

Ben Heppner sings Samson et Dalila: Souviens-toi de ton serviteur
In RA format
Heppner cracked the last note of this broadcast, but when Radio France Musique later re-broadcast the recording, everything was smooth... the engineers had substituted a final note sung by Domingo.
Born into a German-Russian family of Mennonite immigrants, Heppner studied voice at the Universities of British Columbia and of Toronto (with William Neill). While still studying, he made his debut in 1981 in Vancouver as Roderigo in Otello; 1982–84, he was with the Canadian Opera Company, singing roles like Ernesto, Camille de Rosillon, Alfred in Fledermaus, Hoffmann or Rodolfo.

William Neill prepared him for a more dramatic repertory; he made the transition in 1987, singing Bacchus in Australia. In 1988, he was Walther von der Vogelweide in Chicago (US debut), and in 1989, he was on a European stage for the first time (Lohengrin in Stockholm), as well as in Philadelphia and Seattle (Stolzing, in both cases) and at Carnegie Hall. In 1990, his Vienna Staatsoper debut followed (as Bacchus, he was to return several times until 2007). In 1991, he made an anticipated Met debut, stepping in for Luciano Pavarotti as Idomeneo (he was scheduled to sing Riccardo later the same season), which led to a close and long association with the Met (until 2009).

Now the whole operatic world was open to Heppner: La Scala, Covent Garden, Munich, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Cologne, Théâtre de la Monnaie, Marseille, Geneva, Buenos Aires (Colón), Paris Opéra, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino... He sang now mostly heldentenor parts: Tristan, Stolzing, Erik, Florestan, Peter Grimes, Andrea Chénier, Canio, Énée, Prince in Dvořák's Rusalka, and for about ten years, he was interesting because he was a heldentenor with a top. Things started to go south when he sang his first Otello in 2001 in Chicago; the role overstrained him, and he had to cancel many scheduled performances. In the 2000s, his top was generally no longer what it used to be, and at the end of the decade, he retired.

Reference: The Canadian Encyclopedia

I would like to thank André Wium for the recording (Turandot).
I would like to thank Thomas Silverbörg for the recording (Lohengrin).

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