Acclaimed Canadian tenor Ben Heppner was back in fine form Tuesday night, returning to the stage to star in Peter Grimes after having withdrawn from the opera's opening night performance in Toronto on the weekend.
B.C.-born Heppner plays the lead role in the Canadian Opera Company's new production of the Benjamin Britten opera, which revolves around the titular man, a rough, outcast fisherman who is met with suspicion after the death of his young apprentice.
"It's definitely Peter Grimes versus everybody. In a way, he's a bit of an antihero. He's not really likable," Heppner told CBC News in an interview earlier this year.
The tenor added that he really enjoys performing the multifaceted 20th century tale.
"It's my wife's favourite opera because of the drama that it contains," he said. "I like the story. I get to allow myself not to be liked. Not everybody can do that."
On Friday, the COC issued a brief note stating that Heppner would be replaced by American tenor Anthony Dean Griffey for Saturday's opening night show. Griffey, who subsequently earned rave reviews, arrived just hours before the opera's dress rehearsal.
Heppner will continue with the COC's Peter Grimes, which alternates with with the company's La Bohème through October at Toronto's Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.
In the attached video, Heppner talks about taking the lead in Peter Grimes.