Famed Canadian tenor Ben Heppner is set to share his passion for opera in a brand new role: host of CBC Radio's Saturday Afternoon at the Opera.
The world-renowned opera star and preeminent interpreter of Wagner was unveiled as the show's new host Monday morning. His broadcasts begin on Sept. 7.
"Radio has been part of my life ever since I was a kid...I would listen to distant broadcasts late into the night. That radio opened entire new worlds to me, beyond my home of Dawson Creek, [B.C.], worlds that eventually began to include opera," Heppner said in a video message.
"I'm delighted to be the new host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. It's my chance to bring you great stories about opera [and] my friends and colleagues that bring opera to life."
"Since 1979, Ben Heppner has moved CBC Radio 2 listeners with his magnificent singing," CBC director of music programming Mark Steinmetz added in a statement. "I'm thrilled that listeners will now hear Ben share his passion for opera as a host. Ben's warmth, graciousness and in-depth knowledge make him an ideal host."
Since 1982, Saturday Afternoon at the Opera has presented celebrated recordings and opera productions from around the globe, including the popular "Live at the Met" broadcast from New York and the first-ever Canadian production of Wagner's complete Ring Cycle in 2006 in Toronto.