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UBC Reports | Vol. 46 | No. 18 | November 16, 2000

Heppner begins legacy

Opera star alumnus headlines concert to raise money for scholarships

by Bruce Mason staff writer

When the applause dies down at the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts tomorrow, it will signal a new beginning as well as the end of a concert by one of the world's finest operatic voices, UBC alumnus Ben Heppner.

Proceeds from the evening, for which Heppner is waiving his fees, will create scholarships for voice students in the School of Music and a bursary program at Vancouver Opera.

Heppner -- a Dawson Creek native who graduated with a Bachelor of Music in 1978 -- is a Grammy- and Juno award winner who has earned a reputation as the finest dramatic tenor performing today. The concert comprises two parts.

The first half spotlights singers and ensembles at the school who will sing with Heppner. The second half features Heppner solo accompanied by acclaimed pianist UBC Music Prof. Rena Sharon.

"We have a wonderful heritage and magnificent future," says Heppner. "I want the audience to hear and celebrate what is going on at my alma mater."

Heppner pays tribute to UBC mentors, including Music Prof. Emeritus James Fankhauser, who gave him his first solo opportunities, and Music professors emeritii French Tickner and Cortland Hultberg.

"French coerced me into Opera Workshop where I learned many of the techniques which I use continually on stage," says Heppner. "Cort became an unofficial mentor as I watched him interact with music and students."

The audience will hear selections from Heppner's best-selling CD My Secret Heart. "Our alumni remember UBC in many ways, but we are especially moved by Ben's generous gift of music and the tremendous effect this one event will have on our voice program in perpetuity," says Jesse Read, director of the School of Music.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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