Magazine article Opera Canada

A Romantic Opera Night

Magazine article Opera Canada

A Romantic Opera Night

Article excerpt

Heppner, Levine, Berlin Philharmonic

Kultur: D4533

Berlin's Waldbuhne (Forest-Theatre) is one of Europe's largest and most popular outdoor-concert venues. Designed by architect Werner March as part of the site of the 1936 Olympics, it was inspired by the amphitheatre in the ancient Greek city of Epidaurus. After the war, and until 1960, it was used primarily for boxing events, but after a series of renovations it once again became a venue for concerts of all sorts. Surrounded by forest and seating 22.000, it has played host to everyone from the Rolling Stones and Metallica to Celine Dionne and Barbra Streisand. It is also the site of an annual end-of-season Berlin Philharmonic concert featuring major international artists and star conductors.

Many of these concerts are available on DVD, and this one, recorded in 1999, features Canadian Ben Heppner in his vocal prime. In addition to a collection of rapturous orchestral songs by Richard Strauss, Heppner offers impassioned accounts of "In fernem Land" from Act III of Lohengrin and the "Preislied" from Act IV of Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg. …

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