Ben Heppner is recognized worldwide as the finest dramatic tenor before the public today. He excels in the most challenging roles, from Wagner’s Tristan and Lohengrin to Verdi’s Otello and Berlioz’ Aeneas. He is acclaimed in music capitals around the world for his beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and sparkling dramatic sense. His performances on the opera stage, in concert with the world’s leading orchestras, in the most prestigious recital venues, and on recordings have set new standards in his demanding repertoire.
Ben Heppner returns to the Metropolitan Opera at the beginning of the current season to sing Idomeneo, which was his debut role with the company in 1991. Later this season he can be heard at the Met in Andrea Chénier. Mr. Heppner makes twenty-five concert appearances throughout Europe and North America this season, beginning with his recital at Carnegie Hall. In Europe he sings Act III of Siegfried with the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, England, and he tours with the Rotterdam Philharmonic throughout Germany to sing arias from Die Walküre and Siegfried. His other European appearances include concerts in Paris, Madrid, Bilbao, Dresden and Mannheim. In January he sings recitals in seven towns in his native British Columbia, Canada, followed by two concert performances of Tristan und Isolde with the Montreal Symphony. Mr. Heppner concludes his season with performances of Lohengrin at the Paris Opera and Vienna State Opera.
In August 1998 Mr. Heppner sang his first performances of Tristan und Isolde in a new production for Seattle Opera. The international press was ablaze with accolades for “a Tristan for the new millennium.” He subsequently sang this heroic role at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Berlin State Opera, Salzburg Easter Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, and in a new Peter Sellars production for Paris Opera. He has been associated with the Wagner repertoire since 1988, when he won the first Birgit Nilsson prize, and the following year, when he sang Lohengrin with the Royal Swedish Opera and at the Bolshoi Theatre.
Many of Ben Heppner’s greatest portrayals have been revealed in new productions at the Metropolitan Opera, which include Robert Wilson’s production of Lohengrin, Walther von Stolzing in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Florestan in Fidelio, Aeneas in Les Troyens, Gherman in The Queen of Spades, and the Prince in Rusalka. He has also been heard at the Met in Otello, his first performances of Parsifal and as Laca in Jenufa. He has sung these and other roles at Covent Garden, La Scala, Bavarian State Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Mr. Heppner joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as soloist in Mahler’s Eighth Symphony for James Levine’s first concerts as the Orchestra’s Music Director. His large orchestral repertoire also includes Das Lied von der Erde, Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Kodaly’s Psalmus Hungaricus, Britten’s War Requiem, and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius. He has performed these and other works with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, the Met Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande. Conductors he has worked with include Sir Georg Solti, Claudio Abbado, Christian Thielemann, Sir Andrew Davis, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Sir Charles Mackerras, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Mstislav Rostropovich.
Ben Heppner can be heard on RCA Red Seal on several solo discs, including My Secret Heart, Dedication, Ben Heppner sings German Romantic Opera, and Great Tenor Arias. His complete opera recordings include Lohengrin, Turandot, and Fidelio for RCA Red Seal, Die Meistersinger for both Decca and EMI, Rusalka for Decca, Hérodiade and Oberon for EMI, Der fliegende Holländer for Sony, Die Frau ohne Schatten for Teldec and Ariadne auf Naxos for Deutsche Grammophon. He recently became an exclusive artist for Deutsche Grammophon; his current release is a disc of arias from Wagner’s Die Walküre and Siegfried, which has been acclaimed by the international music press. DG also inaugurated their new series of live-recorded Metropolitan Opera performances on DVD with Mr. Heppner as Tristan and as Florestan in Fidelio.
Mr. Heppner studied music at the University of British Columbia. He first gained national attention in 1979 as the winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Company Talent Festival. In December 1998 CBC television’s Something Special featured Ben Heppner in an hour-long portrait of the artist. He is a 1988 winner of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and he received Grammy® Awards in 1998 for his recording of Die Meistersinger on London/Decca records and in 2001 for his recording of Les Troyens with the London Symphony Orchestra on LSOLive. Ben Heppner is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Please visit www.benheppner.com.