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Ben Heppner's Health

weather: cloudy but damp
outside: 5°C
mood: relieved
I got e-mail from My Absolute Most Favoritest Tenor In The Whole Wide World Hands Down No Exceptions™ today. Poor fellow. The stress of travelling and performing was wreaking havoc on his body. If you've ever seen him, he's a very tall man and has one of those "bear" bodies that accumulates weight very easily if he's not careful (like Jonathon Frakes, John Goodman and a lot of guys in law enforcement). He was taking medication to help with his blood pressure and that took out his voice a bit.

But he's doing very well. He's lost 95 pounds(!!) and getting his voice back. Yay! =)

AN OPEN LETTER FROM BEN HEPPNER

February 16, 2003

My Dear Friends,

Today has been quite cold in New York, and for some reason the heating in my New York digs has not been able to keep up with the intensity of the penetrating cold. As a result, I have stayed indoors today, reflecting on the events of the last year as well as surfing the channels in search of 'Columbo' or 'Matlock' to complete the cocooning effect! This evening I settled into a comfy chair at Starbucks watching a most beautiful snowfall. Armed with an 'Americano' and my lap-top, I wanted to take a few moments and break my silence of the past months.

First off, I wanted to thank all of you for your numerous notes which expressed your thoughts and prayers during my time off. I have been buoyed up by your support during this difficult time in my life. Having said that, however, I also need to tell you that much of the time off from the performing stage has been absolutely wonderful!

Having time with my family at home was a gift of immeasurable joy to me. I also, for the very first time in my life, actually accomplished some of my New Years resolutions - the most important of those being weight loss and the development of an exercise regime.

Many things have been written about the cause of my vocal malaise, some of which was just speculation by the uninformed. However, I have recently stated publicly what took me about six months to figure out. The short story is that a medication called an 'ACE inhibitor' was the root cause of my problem. This is a type of medication used to control high blood pressure. The obvious solution was to lose a few pounds and hopefully get control of my blood pressure. I was able to accomplish that after a relatively modest weight loss but I had gained momentum and wasn't about to stop. To date I have lost 95 lbs!

In addition to getting my health back, I have also found my voice again. Now after two performances of 'Les Troyens' at the Met, I am gaining confidence about my voice as well as the role of Aeneas. For those of you who are able, give a listen to the broadcast* on Feb. 22nd (12:30pm EST) of the Trojans and hear for yourself. (That is, if I can keep from catching a cold with this current NYC cold snap...)

I have also discovered the joys of bicycling! I started to make some lifestyle changes and took up the bike as a way to get some aerobic exercise. By the end of the summer, I was doing about 150 Kms/wk. I tried to rent a bike wherever I was singing in the fall. Amsterdam and Victoria B.C. were the two highlights of my tourism biking. I intend to pile on a greater number of kms during the next season and finally leave behind the dreary walls of the YMCA which has been my haunt over the winter. I'm looking for a new bike as a reward for reaching my interim goal. For those of you who are into biking, I'd love to hear what kind of bike you think I should get. I'm interested in a touring or 'randonneur' bike because that is the type of riding that I enjoy most. Send me an 'E' and let me know your thoughts.

Thanks again for your support over the past year. I hope to see you at one of my performances soon.

Yours truly,

Ben

* - I'm assuming that's CBC Radio-2 (FM105.7 in Vancouver).


Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
leyladevereux
Feb. 19th, 2003 05:14 pm (UTC)
I saw Ben Heppner on Monday, February 17th and he indeed sounded fine as Aeneas! I did not recognize him at all during his entrance as he looks like a totally different person after his 95 pound weight loss.

I would totally go and see him again, anywhere, anytime...maybe as Siegfried in next year's Ring Cycle.

Leyla
Die Grafin von Telramund


bride
Feb. 19th, 2003 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re:
Hi there! It's great to meet other Ben Fans =)

I would totally go and see him again, anywhere, anytime...maybe as Siegfried in next year's Ring Cycle.

Hmm... I thought he takes every second year off, but I could be wrong.

It's on my list of things to do when I win the lottery - stalk Ben's Concerts =) For now, I'll just have to be content to wait until he performs in Vancouver again =)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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bride
The Bride of the First House

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