Ben Heppner in conversation with Stephen Brown

Posted on 5, Dec, 2020 in

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  • Ben Heppner in conversation with Stephen Brown
    27 January 2021
    6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

Ben Heppner in conversation

with Stephen Brown

 

ZOOM WEBINAR: 6:30PM, 27th January 2021

 

 

Ben Heppner

Ben Heppner is one of the world’s premier dramatic tenors. Born and raised in Dawson Creek, BC, Heppner studied music at the University of British Columbia, winning the CBC Talent Competition in 1979. In 1988 he gained international recognition as a winner of the Metropolitan Opera Competition, and the first winner of the Birgit Nilsson Prize. These two distinctions secured him international recognition and poised him to become one of the most celebrated tenors of his time.

Possessing a voice that is uniquely both lyrical and powerful, Heppner has made opera’s most challenging tenor repertoire his bread and butter. Each character, from Wagner’s Lohengrin to Mozart’s Idomeneo, has come alive musically and dramatically under Heppner’s care. When Mr. Heppner first took the stage as Tristan, in Tristan und Isolde, in August 1998, he was heralded in the press as “a Tristan for the new millennium.” He subsequently sang this heroic role at the most prestigious houses and festivals in North America and Europe

He continues to set new standards in his demanding repertoire. In the 2009-2010 season, he premiered the role of Captain Ahab in Jake Heggie’s new opera Moby Dick at Dallas Opera. Just previously, in 2008, he had debuted in the challenging title role of Siegfried at the Festival d’Aix en Provence, returning the next year to carry out the character’s fate in Götterdämmerung. In the upcoming 2013-2014 season, he has been chosen to be Peter Grimes by both the Canadian Opera Company and the Vienna State Opera in this important Britten centennial year.

Audiences at home and abroad have been blessed by Heppner’s musicianship and characteristic generosity of spirit. He maintains affection for his native land, having taken recital programs into smaller cities throughout Canada. He has received multiple Juno and Grammy Awards for his many solo and opera albums. He is much sought after as a recitalist, recording artist, teacher, and friend.JMr. Heppner is a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Stephen Brown

A Londoner with a degree from the Royal College of Music and a diploma in Stage Management from the London Opera Center, Stephen A. Brown retired in 2017 from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, after a 38-year career. First as Stage Manager for 18 years, responsible for over seventy new productions, revivals and telecasts (including Wagner’s Ring Cycle in 1989/1990), then as Company Manager, with oversight of the artistic budget and scheduling.

During this time, he also worked for a number of major international companies, including the Bolshoi Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater and the Kirov Opera and Ballet. He was a regular judge for the annual Metropolitan Opera National Council Competitions and has been a frequent panelist on the internationally syndicated Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera Radio Quiz. He also wrote and presented the radio introduction to the 2005 broadcast of Wagner’s Ring Cycle. In New York, Brown directed a number of Shakespeare and classical plays Off-Broadway and served as Secretary to the Broadway Equity Stage Managers’ Association. He has also directed a number of operas regionally.

Brown’s English theatre work includes work at London’s Round House, and as Stage Manager at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain under Sir Peter Hall.  He then served as the RNT’s Company Stage Manager for the West End transfer of Julian Mitchell’s play Half Life starring Sir John Gielgud, as well as for the Annual George Devine Gala at the Royal Court Theatre with Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Peggy Ashcroft and Dame Maggie Smith and other theatrical luminaries.

Between 2005 and 2014, Brown worked as a consultant for the U.S. Department of State, twice visiting Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia, was well as for the Arts Council of Mongolia in Ulaan Baatar, and for the U.S. Consulate in Ekaterinburg in Russia’s Ural Mountains. He spent two summers teaching and directing Mozart operas at Italy’s Amalfi Coast Festival, and still (pre-Covid) regularly lectures on cruises of the Rhine and Danube rivers. He has offered lectures and master-classes on opera and singing at a number of American universities and conservatories, the Freie Universität in Berlin, and at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

 

This online event is £5 to all members, £10 for non-members (Refundable on joining) and free for students/under 30s.  Please register your interest below and you will be sent a Zoom link in good time for the lecture, probably during the previous day. (Please do not contact us for the link unless it has not been received immediately before the lecture is due to begin.) If you wish to make a donation, please do so via our website (see button to the right) or contact treasurer@wagnersociety.org.   (NOTE: Joint members intending to watch this lecture together only need to register once.)

 

 

 

 

 

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