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THE SCOOP | Ben Heppner Bids Farewell To Saturday Afternoon At The Opera

By Michael Vincent on September 8, 2021

Ben Heppner (Photo courtesy of the CBC)
Ben Heppner (Photo courtesy of the CBC)

Going from the stage to the studio has been a calling for tenor Ben Heppner, who just hosted his farewell show of Saturday Afternoon At The Opera over Labour Day weekend.

“I’ve decided to move into a new phase of my life,” Heppner said. “Although I won’t be working anymore — there’s lots of things that I want to do, and I want to thank you for making Saturday Afternoon at the Opera a regular part of your week. Thank you too for the emails and letters you’ve written — many of you have become a treasured presence in my life. You will be missed.”

Originating in 1982, the weekly show airs live and prerecorded opera concert performances and interviews. Heppner has hosted the program since 2013.

Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations mezzo-soprano Marion Newman has been named to replace Heppner as host Saturday Afternoon At The Opera starting Saturday, Sept. 11.

Long-time Choral Concert Host Katherine Duncan will be moving to the producing role, with soprano Frédéricka Petit-Homme stepping in to replace her as host.

Conductor Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser will continue on as the host of CBC Radio’s Centre Stage — a role he just started this year.

More opera love on the radio waves

Further to the announcements of new hosts, mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah will launch a new, weekly one-hour show, Julie’s Opera Jewels, broadcasting on Saturday afternoons. The show takes listeners through stories and music that tie into a weekly theme such as love, death, rivalries, and mistaken identities.

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Michael Vincent
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