Ben Heppner as Tristan
This coming Saturday (Jan. 14) marks the birthday of the great Canadian tenor Ben Heppner, who turns 56 this year. Since his transition to the Wagner/Strauss fach in 1988, Heppner has become the premiere heldentenor of our time. Although he has retired the role of Siegfried, which he was originally scheduled to sing at the Met this season, Heppner continues to sing other Wagnerian roles including Tristan. He sang this most taxing of heldentenr roles beautifully in Munich last July. Currently, Ben is at the Calgary Opera rehearsing Jake Heggie's Moby Dick, as Captain Ahab, a role composed for him and which he created. There are also unconfirmed rumours that the tenor may be singing Tristan for the Canadian Opera Company - we'll find out soon enough as the COC Season announcement is on Jan. 18. Here is Ben as Tristan at the Met, dated fall 2001. If you follow the links, the bulk of this performance can be found on Youtube. Happy Birthday Ben Heppner!
Joseph K. So