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Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Opening night of Toronto Peter Grimes will not include tenor Ben Heppner

By John Terauds on October 4, 2013

Anthony Dead Griffey as Grimes in a previous production.
Anthony Dean Griffey as Grimes in a previous production.

The Canadian Opera Company announced this afternoon that tenor Ben Heppner will not be singing Saturday night’s opening performance of Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds

The title role will be taken by American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, who sang the dress rehearsal on Wednesday night.

A spokesperson explained that Heppner is suffering from a vocal inflammation and has been advised by his doctors not to sing on Saturday. She added that the Company hopes that Heppner will be able to return for the balance of the seven-performance run, which concludes Oct. 26.

Griffey has been widely acclaimed for his operatic work, including his portrayals of Grimes. He has performed the role before for this production’s co-producers Opera Australia and Houson Grand Opera.

Heppner sang the role of Tristan at the Canadian Opera Company last season without incident. A month ago, he started new duties as host of CBC Radio 2’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera and Backstage with Ben Heppner.

Besides his COC and radio committments this fall, the veteran Canadian tenor is scheduled to sing a benefit recital at the Glenn Gould Studio on Oct. 12 and continues his engagements in November and December with a four-performance run of Peter Grimes at the Vienna State Opera.

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds

John Terauds, the founder of Musical Toronto, is currently a Divinity student at University of Toronto and a church music director. He joined the Toronto Star in 1988, was the classical music critic from 2005 to 2012, and continues as a freelance critic for the paper. He is the co-author of Roy Thomson Hall: A Portrait, a book written with Toronto Star Colleague, William Littler.
John Terauds
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