|Year of Birth:||1956|
Thomas Bernard (Ben) Heppner, CC (born January 14, 1956) is a Canadian tenor and broadcaster, now retired from singing, who specialized in opera and other classical works for voice.
Heppner was born in Murrayville, British Columbia, Canada, and lived in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. He began his musical studies at the University of British Columbia and first attracted national attention when he won the CBC Talent Festival in 1979.
He is associated particularly with the Wagnerian repertoire, but he performs a wide range of operas from the German, French and Italian canons.
Heppner performed frequently with major opera companies in the United States (including the New York Metropolitan Opera) and Europe, as well as concert appearances with major symphony orchestras. He has appeared in the DVD recordings of the Met's productions of Beethoven's Fidelio, Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, and Wagner's Tristan und Isolde, two of his signature roles. (He first performed Tristan with the Seattle Opera in 1998.) He specialises in some of the most challenging of operatic roles, including, in addition to Tristan, the title part in Lohengrin, the title part in Otello, and Berlioz's Aeneas.
Heppner has recorded widely on many labels, participating in both complete operas and solo albums of arias and songs. He is currently signed to an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon (DG). His first solo recording for DG, made in 2001, was Airs Français. It won a Juno Award.