At yesterday's convocation at the University of Lethbridge Ben Heppner was given an honourary degree and then today he gave a concert to raise money for music scholarships. It was a glorious concert! There were four standing ovations including one in the middle of the concert. He was incredible.
The heart of the concert for me were two operatic pieces. The first was from Massanet's opera Le Cid. It is this beautiful prayer - the lines that especially moved me were "O sovereign, O judge, O father, always hidden, ever present, I loved you in times of good fortune and I bless you in times of sadness!" The piece that did me in though was the next aria from Andrea Chenier by Umberto Giordano. It is an indictment of French nobility who turn their backs on the plight of the poor and the final line is, "love is a gift divine, do not despise it, the moving spirit of the universe is love!" Dad was very present to me while Dr. Heppner sang that piece. I wish it had gone on a lot longer.
Today I was very proud to be associated with the university.