On Monday October 15th 2018, the Wagner Society hosted an evening with famed opera singers Karita Mattila and Ben Heppner. Both singers have sung Wagner during their career and were both appearing at the Canadian Opera Company (COC) in their production of Hadrian.
Both singers discussed their experience in opera and performing Wagner specifically. Ms. Mattila mentioned that her first role in opera was the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro while Mr. Heppner’s first operatic role was as Roderigo in Otello.
Ms. Mattila and Mr. Heppner also found acclaim after winning a competition – the Cardiff Singer of the World Award in Wales for Ms. Mattila in 1983, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions for Mr. Heppner in 1988.
They also discussed how they moved into Wagner as their voices developed and that both have enjoyed singing Wagner.
The evening’s discussion flew by as Ms. Mattila and Mr. Heppner would carry on a discussion in response to questions and would jump back and forth between each other.
The meeting was lively and was very enjoyable.