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Ben Heppner

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration

{Ben Heppner}
Ben Heppner
Photo by Christian Steiner

For his contributions to the world of opera performance and recording, Ben Heppner was awarded an honorary doctor of letters degree at the 3 p.m. session of convocation on May 28.

Mr. Heppner is recognized as the finest dramatic tenor world-wide. A native of British Columbia, he studied at the University of British Columbia School of Music. He first gained national attention as the winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Company Talent Festival. He was the subject of a documentary for the weekly CBC-TV prime-time news program The Fifth Estate in February 1991. He has been a featured soloist on CBC Radio's stereo broadcast of the Toronto Children's Chorus Christmas celebration and, in September 1992, in a live CBC broadcast celebrating the tenth anniversary of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto. He was named a Vanier Award winner for 1994 by the Toronto Junior Board of Trade.

In December 1998 he was featured on CBC Television's Something Special in an hour-long portrait. He is a 1988 winner of the Metropolitan Opera auditions and received a Grammy Award in 1998 for his recording of Die Meistersinger on London/Decca records. He has won several Juno Awards for his recordings, most recently for Airs Français.

Mr. Heppner's career takes him regularly to the Metropolitan Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris, and Lyric Opera of Chicago. He appears with all of the world's leading orchestras and in the most celebrated recital venues. His works appear on prestigious labels worldwide: Yellow Label, BMG, RCA Red Seal, Decca, EMI, Sony and Teldec, and his latest recording, music by Tosti, will be released in fall 2003 on Deutsche Grammophon. His first performances as Aeneas in Les Troyens, recorded live with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis, won the 2001 Grammy Award both for Best Classical Album and for Best Opera Album.

Pages >> Biography | Address to Convocation | Oration