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Death of a gigantic bass-baritone, 90

February 20, 2018 by norman lebrecht

8 comments.


The epic opera singer Raimund Herincz commanded the best villain role in London in the 1960s and 1970s, moving on to the Met in 1976.

Born in London to Belgian parents, he commanded the major Wagner roles, was an unforgettable Nabucco and Falstaff and created roles in Tippett operas.

On retirement from the stage, he was a sought-after teacher.


Comments (8)

  1. Nicholas Folwell says:

    Rai taught me everything! I would not be where I am today were it not for him! A truly great singer and human being!!

  2. Dominic Stafford says:

    I am very sad to hear this, as is my father, David Law, whose client he was for some time. I have some great childhood memories.

    I remember my father being too amused to be angry when he found out that, during an interval of one Covent Garden performance, Ray had toddled up to the Connaught Rooms in full costume to sing a couple of arias to a formal dinner.

    They don’t make ’em like that anymore!

  3. Barbara Collier says:

    I sang the soprano role in Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” in Calgary many years ago. Ray was a most compelling and inspired Elijah. He was also so kind to his younger, less experienced colleagues, something we all cherished. Rest in peace!

  4. David Shengold says:

    Worth getting his name right: Herincx.

    As a child I heard him in a Colin Davis Mahler Eighth at the Albert Hall; a few years later as a strongly engaged RHINEGOLD (Andrew Porter’s translation was used, and put across with a clarity we rarely hear these days) Wotan at the Coliseum, under Reginald Goodall’s slow but sure baton. A fine artist.

  5. Bobby V says:

    But perhaps, in retrospect, his greatest (and most unwelcome) role was as the focus of John Ogdon’s paranoid schizophrenia. No Raimond, no late John. And given the choice ….

    1. Nicholas Folwell says:

      For the uninitiated, perhaps you could explain your comment.

  6. Nicholas Braithwaite says:

    I first heard Rae when he sang Mefistofele with WNO, my father conducting. Then I worked with him on many operas, starting with Nabucco for WNO in the 60s and going right through the 70s. I think his most outstanding role was Jack Rance at Sadler’s Wells in 1963 with Betty Fretwell and Don Smith, again with my father conducting.

  7. david wilson-johnson says:

    so sad to read this…..he was a great singer and great personality…I was grateful on many occasions to his rather dangerous habit of booking three engagements on the same day and then deciding on the day itself which role he felt would suit his voice that particular day…..I was able to jump in on many occasions and improved my singreading no end…..his Belshazzar´s Feast at the RAH was humungous !


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