Ben Heppner Canadian tenor 1956-

Ben Heppner Canadian tenor 1956-

The Canadian tenor, Ben Heppner, began his musical studies at the University of British Columbia School of Music. He also studied in Toronto. He first gained national attention in 1979 as the winner of the Canadian Broadcasting Company Talent Festival. In 1987 Ben Heppner sang Strauss’ Bacchus at the Victoria State Opera in Sidney. In 1988 he also won the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, which led to his USA debut.

Ben Heppner Canadian tenor

Born: January 14, 1956 – Murrayville, British Columbia, Canada

As a state concert for the King and the Queen of Sweden at New York’s Carnegie Hall. He sang Bacchus at the Vienna State Opera in 1990. He made his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York as Idomeneo in 1991. In 1992 sang Dvořák Dimitrij in Munich and W.A. Mozart’s Titus in Salzburg.

Ben Heppner has been associated with the Wagner repertoire since 1988, when he won the first Birgit Nilsson prize.   The following year, when he sang the title role in Lohengrin with the Royal Swedish Opera (his European operatic debut) and at the Bolshoi Theatre. He has subsequently sung this role with San Francisco Opera (1989), in Seattle (1994), Vienna State Opera. And in a new production at the Metropolitan Opera.

CBC

Ben Heppner was the subject of a documentary for CBC Television’s Fifth Estate, a weekly prime-time news program, in February 1991. He has been a featured soloist on CBC Radio’s stereo broadcast of the Toronto Children’s Chorus Christmas celebration.  In September 1992, starred in a live CBC broadcast celebrating the tenth anniversary of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Where he performed a concert of German arias with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. He was named a Vanier Award winner for 1994 by the Toronto Junior Board of Trade. In December 1998, CBC television’s Something Special featured Ben Heppner in an hour-long portrait of the artist.

Ben Heppner is recognised world-wide as the finest dramatic tenor before the public today. He excels in the most challenging roles, from Wagner’s Tristan and Lohengrin to Verdi’s Otello and Berlioz’ Aeneas. He is acclaimed in music capitals around the world for his beautiful voice, intelligent musicianship, and sparkling dramatic sense. His performances on the opera stage, in concert with orchestra, in recital and on recordings have set new standards in his demanding repertoire.

Ben Heppner’s career takes him regularly to the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago. Royal Opera Covent Garden, Vienna State Opera, Opéra National de Paris. He appears with all of the world’s leading orchestras and in the most prestigious recital venues.

In August 1998 Ben Heppner sang his first performances of the title role in Tristan und Isolde in a new production for Seattle Opera. The international press was ablaze with accolades for ”a Tristan for the new millennium.” He subsequently sang this heroic role at the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago. Salzburg Easter Festival, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and with Berlin Philharmonic.

La Scala debut

Since his La Scala debut in spring 1990 in a new production of Die Meistersinger. Ben Heppner has sung the role of Walther von Stolzing for San Francisco Opera, Seattle Opera, Bavarian State Opera, Royal Opera Covent Garden,  Opéra de Marseille, Opéra de Nice. In a new production for the Metropolitan Opera under the direction of James Levine.

He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera singing the title role in Idomeneo, and has since appeared with that company as Florestan in a new production of Fidelio, Laca in Jenufa, Herman in a new production of The Queen of Spades with Valery Gergiev, and the Prince in a new production of Rusalka.

Title role McTeague

Ben Heppner created the title role of William Bolcom’s McTeague in 1992 with Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he has also appeared as Calaf in Turandot and the title role of Peter Grimes. Grimes was the role of his debut with both the Royal Opera, Covent Garden and the Opéra National de Paris. He first appeared with the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires in the title role of Andrea Chenier.

His first performances of the title role in Otello were with the Munich Philharmonic and James Levine. His first performances of Aeneas in Les Troyens were with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis; the live recording of those performances won the 2001 Grammy Award both for Best Classical Album and for Best Opera Album.

Among his other noteworthy operatic assignments have been Hüon in Oberon at La Scala, Canio in I Pagliacci for the Canadian Opera Company, the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten with the Vienna State Opera, Samson in Samson et Dalila at the Ravinia Festival, and the title role in Dvorak’s Dimitrij with the Bavarian State Opera.

Conserts

In addition to his activities on the operatic stage, Ben Heppner has also been extensively engaged as a soloist with orchestras as a concert artist. His large orchestral repertoire includes Das Lied von der Erde, Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder, Zoltán Kodály’s Psalmus Hungaricus, L.v. Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem, and the Verdi Requiem.

He has performed these and other works with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

Conductors he has worked with include Sir Georg Solti, James Levine, Claudio Abbado, Valery Gergiev, Christian Thielemann, Sir Colin Davis, Daniel Barenboim, Lorin Maazel, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon and Mstislav Rostropovich.

German arias

Ben Heppner began the 2002-2003 season with a concert of German arias for VARA Radio in Amsterdam with Edo de Waart. He continues with recitals in Canada and the USA, followed by further concerts of German and French operatic repertoire throughout Europe. In the winter he sings Aeneas in a new production of Les Troyens for the Metropolitan Opera.

He then sings festival performances of Tristan und Isolde at the Berlin Staatsoper with Daniel Barenboim, and also gives a solo recital at the Staatsoper. Ben Heppner appears in concert in Puerto Rico before returning to Europe for concert performances of Fidelio with the Münchner Philharmoniker and James Levine, and of Les Troyens with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis.

Deutsche Grammophon

Ben Heppner is now an exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist, and can be heard on that label in the role of Bacchus in a complete recording of Ariadne auf Naxos. His first solo CD for the Yellow Label, Airs Français, is conducted by Myung-Whun Chung and was released in autumn 2001. On BMG Ben Heppner can be heard on several solo discs, including My Secret Heart, Dedication, Ben Heppner sings German Romantic Opera, and Great Tenor Arias.

His complete opera recordings include Lohengrin, Turandot, and Fidelio for RCA Red Seal, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg for both Decca and EMI, Rusalka for Decca, Hérodiade and Oberon for EMI, Der fliegende Holländer for Sony, and Die Frau ohne Schatten for Teldec. He received a Grammy Award in 1998 for his recording of Die Meistersinger on London/Decca records. In Canada, he has won several Juno Awards for his recordings, most recently for Airs Français.

Experienced performances

Opera Roles Operahouse Dates
The Mastersingers from Nurembourg Walther von Stoltzing Metropolitan MetPlayer 2009
Fidelio Florestan Metropolitan MetPlayer 2009
Tristan och Isolde Tristan Baltic Sea Festival/Berwaldhallen 24.8.2012

Metropolitan Opera

[Met Concert/Gala] CID:350511
National Council Winners Concert
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/10/1988
First Appearance: Elizabeth Carter, Haijing Fu, Heidi Grant Murphy, Richard Drews, Susan Graham, Renée Fleming, Wendy Hoffman, Ben Heppner, Carolyn James, Lynda Keith
[Met Performance] CID:306780
Idomeneo {36}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/11/1991
Debut: Ben Heppner
[Met Performance] CID:306820
Idomeneo {37}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/14/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306840
Idomeneo {38}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/17/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306880 Opera News
Idomeneo {39}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/21/1991
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:310900
Jenufa {24}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/19/1992
Debut: Jacque Trussel
Review
[Met Performance] CID:310930
Jenufa {25}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/23/1992
Review
[Met Performance] CID:310950 Opera News
Jenufa {26}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/26/1992
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:310980
Jenufa {27}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/29/1992
[Met Performance] CID:311380
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {385}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/6/1993
[Met Performance] CID:311410
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {386}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/10/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314580
Rusalka {5}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/26/1993
Debut: Mary Dunleavy
[Met Performance] CID:314610
Rusalka {6}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/29/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314650
Rusalka {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/3/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314690
Fidelio {201}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/7/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314700
Rusalka {8}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/8/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314730 Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Rusalka {9}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/11/1993
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:314770
Fidelio {203}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/15/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314800 Opera News
Fidelio {204}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/18/1993
Broadcast
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:350271
The MET Orchestra
Tilles Center, Brookville, New York; 04/30/1994
[Met Performance] CID:316130
In Concert
Der Fliegende Holländer {139}
Frankfurt, Germany; 05/12/1994
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:319520
The MET Orchestra
New York, Carnegie Hall; 02/26/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322250
New Production
The Queen of Spades {35}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/26/1995
Debut: Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Nikolai Putilin, Ludmila Filatova, Kurt Link, Mark Thompson, Paul Pyant, John Meehan
[Met Performance] CID:322290
The Queen of Spades {36}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/30/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322330
The Queen of Spades {37}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/3/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322370
The Queen of Spades {38}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/7/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322420
The Queen of Spades {39}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/11/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322460
The Queen of Spades {40}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/16/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322630
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {387}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/4/1995
Debut: Peter McClintock
Review
[Met Performance] CID:322750  Opera News
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {390}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/16/1995
Broadcast
Review
[Met Performance] CID:322800
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {391}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/21/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322900
Pension Fund Benefit
Die Fledermaus {186}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/31/1995
[Met Performance] CID:324150
In Concert
Ariadne auf Naxos {63}
Frankfurt, Germany; 05/15/1996
[Met Performance] CID:324160
In Concert
Andrea Chénier {158}
Frankfurt, Germany; 05/16/1996
[Met Performance] CID:330507
New Production
Lohengrin {599}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/9/1998
Debuts: Sebastian Uriarte, Gary Martin, Robert Wilson, Frida Parmeggiani, Heinrich Brunke
[Met Performance] CID:330519
Lohengrin {600}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/13/1998
Debut: Richard Paul Fink
[Met Performance] CID:330531
Lohengrin {601}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/17/1998
Debut: Eva Urbanová
Review
[Met Performance] CID:330543 
Lohengrin {602}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/21/1998
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:330555
Lohengrin {603}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/25/1998
[Met Performance] CID:330567
Lohengrin {604}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/28/1998
[Met Performance] CID:330591
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {392}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/6/1998
Debuts: James Johnson, Eva Johansson, Gert Henning-Jensen
[Met Performance] CID:330606
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {393}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/11/1998
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:330618
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {394}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/15/1998
[Met Performance] CID:330630
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {395}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/18/1998
Debut: Clemens Bieber
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:350326
The MET Orchestra
Music Hall, Cincinnati, Ohio; 05/20/1998
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:350327
The MET Orchestra
Symphony Center, Chicago, Illinois; 05/21/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331006
Lohengrin {606}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/30/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331015
Lohengrin {607}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/3/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331024
Lohengrin {608}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/6/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331036
Lohengrin {609}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/10/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331048
Lohengrin {610}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/14/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331060
Lohengrin {611}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/17/1998
[Met Performance] CID:331072
Lohengrin {612}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/22/1998
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:350302
The MET Orchestra
Carnegie Hall, New York; 04/25/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332168
New Production
Tristan und Isolde {431}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/22/1999
Debuts: Katarina Dalayman, Brian Davis, Dieter Dorn, Max Keller
[Met Performance] CID:332177
Tristan und Isolde {432}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/26/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332186
Tristan und Isolde {433}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/29/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332198
Tristan und Isolde {434}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/3/1999
Debut: Sue Patchell
[Met Performance] CID:332210
Tristan und Isolde {435}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/6/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332228 
Tristan und Isolde {436}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/11/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332234
Tristan und Isolde {437}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/14/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332246  Opera News 1 Opera News
Tristan und Isolde {438}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/18/1999
Broadcast/Telecast
[Met Performance] CID:333057
New Production
Fidelio {205}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/13/2000
Debuts: Eric Cutler, Jürgen Flimm, Florence von Gerkan
Review
[Met Performance] CID:333069
Fidelio {206}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/17/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333084
Fidelio {207}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/21/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333093
Fidelio {208}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/25/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333102 
Fidelio {209}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/28/2000
Telecast
[Met Performance] CID:333120
Fidelio {210}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/2/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333282
Fidelio {212}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/27/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333294
Fidelio {213}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/30/2000
[Met Performance] CID:333303
Fidelio {214}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/3/2001
[Met Performance] CID:333312  Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Fidelio {215}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/6/2001
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:333327
Fidelio {216}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/11/2001
Debut: Renate Behle
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:333669
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
The MET Orchestra: Gurrelieder {1}
Carnegie Hall, New York; 05/06/2001
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:333717
The MET Orchestra: Gurrelieder {2}
Bunka Kaikan, Tokyo, Japan; 06/07/2001
[Met Performance] CID:350045
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {399}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/27/2001
[Met Performance] CID:350046
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {400}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/01/2001
[Met Performance] CID:350047
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {401}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/05/2001
[Met Performance] CID:350048  Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg {402}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/08/2001
First Broadcast / Telecast sponsored by ChevronTexaco
[Met Performance] CID:350519  
New Production
Les Troyens {29}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/10/2003
Debuts: Maria Bjørnson, Anita Yavich, Doug Varone, Kayvon Pourazar, Griff Braun
Review
[Met Performance] CID:350523
Les Troyens {30}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/14/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350526
Les Troyens {31}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/17/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350540  Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Les Troyens {32}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/22/2003
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:350578
Les Troyens {33}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/11/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350597
Les Troyens {34}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/15/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350617
Les Troyens {36}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/24/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350624
Les Troyens {37}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/27/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350760
Tristan und Isolde {439}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/30/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350767 
Tristan und Isolde {440}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/03/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350770
Tristan und Isolde {441}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/06/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350776
Tristan und Isolde {442}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/11/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350779
Tristan und Isolde {443}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/14/2003
[Met Performance] CID:350575
Otello {298}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/20/2004
Opening Night {120}
Joseph Volpe, General Manager
[Met Performance] CID:351018
Otello {299}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/23/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351022
Otello {300}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/27/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351026
Otello {301}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/01/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351029
Otello {302}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/04/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351033
Otello {303}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/07/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351044
Otello {304}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/14/2004
[Met Performance] CID:351131
Otello {305}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/05/2005
[Met Performance] CID:351127
Otello {306}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/08/2005
Broadcast
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:351188
The MET Orchestra
Carnegie Hall, New York; 01/23/2005
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:351407
A Mozart Celebration
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/2006
Broadcast
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:351473
National Council Grand Finals Concert
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/26/2006
First appearance: Paul Corona, Donovan Singletary, John Moore
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351475
Fidelio {226}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/28/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351479  Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Fidelio {227}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/01/2006
Debut: Erika Sunnegardh
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351496 
Lohengrin {613}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/17/2006
Debut: Luana DeVol, Andrew Greenan
[Met Performance] CID:351500
Lohengrin {614}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/20/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351505
Lohengrin {615}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/24/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351510 Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Lohengrin {616}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/29/2006
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351523 
Parsifal {286}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/12/2006
Debut: Jordan Bisch
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:351526
The MET Orchestra
Carnegie Hall, New York; 05/14/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351527
Parsifal {287}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/15/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351530
Parsifal {288}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/18/2006
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:351533  
Gala Celebration in honor of Joseph Volpe
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/20/2006
Broadcast / Telecast
[Met Performance] CID:351557 
Idomeneo {60}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/28/2006
Debuts: Lisette Oropesa, Jeffrey Francis, Simon O’Neill
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351585
Idomeneo {61}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/02/2006
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351586
Idomeneo {62}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/10/2006
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351560
Idomeneo {63}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/14/2006
[Met Performance] CID:351930 
Andrea Chénier {172}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/22/2007
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351937
Andrea Chénier {173}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/26/2007
Broadcast/Streamed
[Met Performance] CID:351944
Andrea Chénier {174}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/29/2007
[Met Performance] CID:351950
Andrea Chénier {175}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/02/2007
[Met Performance] CID:351963 Opera News
Andrea Chénier {176}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/07/2007
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351980
Andrea Chénier {177}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/11/2007
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:351979
Andrea Chénier {178}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/14/2007
[Met Performance] CID:351986
Andrea Chénier {179}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/18/2007
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:352441
Tristan und Isolde {448}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/25/2008
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:352449  
Tristan und Isolde {449}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/28/2008
Broadcast/Streamed
[Met Performance] CID:352705 
The Queen of Spades {60}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/21/2008
Broadcast/Streamed
[Met Performance] CID:352710
The Queen of Spades {61}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/24/2008
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:352719
The Queen of Spades {62}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/29/2008
[Met Performance] CID:352727
The Queen of Spades {63}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/03/2008
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:352734
The Queen of Spades {64}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/06/2008
[Met Performance] CID:352742
The Queen of Spades {65}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/10/2008
[Met Performance] CID:352747
The Queen of Spades {66}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/13/2008
Broadcast
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:352934 
The 125th Anniversary Gala
Celebration of Plácido Domingo’s 40 Years at the Met

Metropolitan Opera House; 03/15/2009
Broadcast / Streamed

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