Jerome Hines

Long-serving bass at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Jerome Albert Link Heinz (Jerome Hines), singer, composer and writer: born Hollywood, California 8 November 1921; married 1952 Lucia Evangelista (died 2000; four sons); died New York 4 February 2003.

The American bass Jerome Hines, whose career as a singer lasted well over half a century, spent 41 of those years at the Metropolitan Opera, New York.

His enormous repertory, spanning from Handel to Britten and Stravinsky, included Italian, German, Russian and French works. His unusual height, of 6 ft 6 in, and unusual thinness were great assets in the many roles of authority that he sang, but were also put to wonderful use in one of his few comic roles, Don Basilio in Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia. In his mid-thirties Hines became a born-again Christian, and later composed an opera on the life of Christ, I am the Way.

Jerome Heinz (his real name) was born in Hollywood in 1921. He studied chemistry, mathematics and physics at the University of California in Los Angeles, at the same time taking singing lessons with Gennaro Curci. He made his stage début as Bill Bobstay in HMS Pinafore at the LA Civic Light Opera in 1940. The following year he made his operatic début at San Francisco at a popular matinée performance on 19 October 1941 as Monterone in Rigoletto. The title role was sung by the great American baritone Lawrence Tibbett. Heinz also sang two performances of Biterolf in Tannhäuser, whose protagonist was sung by the even more famous Danish tenor, Lauritz Melchior.

The publicity generated by this short season brought several offers of work from concert and operatic agencies, so Hines, as he had now become, decided to be a singer, not a chemist. From 1944 to 1946 he sang with the New Orleans Opera, and also appeared in Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Mexico City. He also sang in concerts conducted by Toscanini and with the maestro recorded the bass solos in Beethoven's Missa solemnis. In 1946 he won the Caruso award, and made his Metropolitan début on 21 November as the Officer in Boris Godunov. Graduating shortly to Pimen in the same opera, he finally moved on to Boris, which became his favourite role.

During the next four decades Hines sang 45 roles at the Metropolitan alone. These included Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Colline in La bohème, the High Priest Ramfis in Aida – one of his most imposing characterisations – Swallow in Peter Grimes, Banquo in Macbeth, Mephistopheles in Faust, Sarastro in The Magic Flute and two roles in Verdi's Don Carlos, King Philip II and the Grand Inquisitor. These were among his very finest roles. In 1953 Hines came to the Edinburgh Festival to sing Nick Shadow in The Rake's Progress, the British stage premiere of Stravinsky's opera, presented by Glyndebourne. The bass's long thin frame was exactly right for Shadow, while his very large, deep voice and superb diction also suited the music to perfection.

The following year Hines sang Mozart's Don Giovanni, a role he also took on at the Met, in Munich. In 1958 he appeared at La Scala, Milan, in the title role of Handel's Hercules, and the same year began a five-year stint at Bayreuth, singing Gurnemanz in Parsifal. Later he sang King Marke in Tristan und Isolde and Wotan in Die Walküre. His Wagner repertory in New York also included Hunding in Die Walküre and Wotan in Das Rheingold.

After his visit in 1962 to Moscow, in 1968 Hines published an autobiography, This is My Story, This is My Song. His opera, I Am the Way, was performed in Philadelphia in 1969. Hines himself sang the protagonist, while his wife, the soprano Lucia Evangelista, sang Mary the Mother.

Hines gained a congenial new role at Rome in 1984, when he sang Arkel, the old, blind king in Pelléas et Mélisande. Though he retired from the Metropolitan in 1987, he continued to sing elsewhere in America, and in 1988 at Newark he sang Il Cieco, the blind father of the heroine in Mascagni's Iris. The following year he appeared as Ramfis, a role he had sung well over a hundred times, in New Orleans, 45 years after his début in the city, returning there in 1987, at the age of 76, to sing Sarastro.

Elizabeth Forbes

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
art

The Sistine Chapel is set to be illuminated with thousands of LEDs

News
people
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
Gillian Anderson was paid less than her male co-star David Duchovny for three years while she was in the The X-Files until she protested and was given the same salary
people

Gillian Anderson lays into gender disparity in Hollywood

Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer Mentor for people who have offended

This is an unpaid volunteer role. : Belong: We are looking for volunteers who ...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: Experienced TA's urgently...

Business StudiesTeacher

£100 - £110 per day: Randstad Education Group: Supply Business Studies Teacher...

English Teacher

£110 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: English Teacher - CaerphillyT...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?