Magazine article Opera Canada

Tristan Und Isolde

Magazine article Opera Canada

Tristan Und Isolde

Article excerpt

Ben Heppner (Tristan) in the Metropolitan Opera production

IT has been four years since the Metropolitan Opera's striking 1999 production of Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (designed by Jurgen Rose) has been seen in New York. Since then, Canadian tenor Ben Heppner has confronted a highly publicized vocal crisis. Given his performance of Tristan in the revival of the opera on October 11, it is clear Heppner is not only back but is even more impressive than before. He gave unstintingly, with no sign of discomfort or strain. If anything, the voice has taken on an added maturity and weight, qualities that imbued his Tristan with even greater authority. In Act I, he sang with heroic strength, in Act II with unbridled passion and in Act III with searing intensity. One can only hope Heppner's record label, Deutsche Grammophon, will make every attempt to document this towering portrayal while the Canadian heldentenor is in his prime.

Even English dramatic soprano Jane Eaglen sounded in better form vocally than in her previous Met Isoldes. There was greater freshness and, occasionally, lightness in the voice. But when extra horsepower was required, Eaglen was able to put the pedal to the floor. …

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