Roger Pines is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in the field of opera, encompassing teaching, writing, lecturing, broadcasting, adjudicating, and repertoire research/consultation.
In June 2021 Pines concluded his tenure as dramaturg at Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he joined the staff in 1995. In addition to his editing responsibilities for the company’s house program – for which he also wrote a large number of feature articles each season – he was co-host and co-producer of the company’s live broadcasts (2010-18); a presenter of lectures and moderator of artist panels, both in the opera house and throughout the greater Chicago area; and special lecturer and consultant for the Ryan Opera Center, the company’s young-artist program. He previously served as director of education at San Diego Opera; dramaturg, publications editor, and education coordinator at the Dallas Opera; and surtitles coordinator at Glimmerglass Opera, where he founded the surtitles department.
Recent highlights of Pines’s freelance career have included a series of interviews with legendary artists for Opera magazine; online talks regarding iconic voices of the past for internationally celebrated baritone Thomas Hampson’s “HampsongFoundation” website; an in-depth career profile of renowned bass-baritone Simon Estes for Des Moines Metro Opera; lectures for the Curtis Institute of Music and Opera Festival of Chicago; articles for San Francisco Opera regarding Mozart’s Così fan tutte and for the company’s historic recordings project; numerous projects for Lyric and The Dallas Opera; and a lecture entitled “The Glory of the Jewish Voice in Opera” for Temple Sholom in Chicago.
Pines's hour-long radio documentary; "The Stradivarius of Singers: A Tribute to Leontyne Price," has been heard on more than 50 radio stations nationwide. A panelist on the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts’ “Opera Quiz” annually since the 2005-06 season, Pines has been a judge for the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions (now the Eric and Dominique Laffont Competition) since 1991. He has judged for other prestigious competitions nationwide, among them Northwestern University’s Concerto Competition, Young Texas Artists, the Scholarship Competition of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, the Denver Lyric Opera Guild Competition, and the finals of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and Classical Singer competitions.
A contributor to many important American and European publications, Pines has written articles and reviews that have appeared in Great Britain’s most distinguished newspaper – The Times (London) – as well as in Opera News; Opera magazine (U.K.); International Record Review; The Opera Quarterly; BBC Music; the online magazine Liner Notes; programs of every leading American opera company, from Lyric, the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera to Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, The Santa Fe Opera, and Cincinnati Opera; The Juilliard School; and Ireland’s Wexford Festival. Pines has also written for CDs on seven major labels, including program notes for releases by Renée Fleming, Nicole Cabell, Danielle de Niese, Anna Netrebko, Cecilia Bartoli, Joyce DiDonato, Juan Diego Flórez, and Jonas Kaufmann, as well as for reissues of Beverly Sills’s recordings of Norma and Manon.
Pines has lectured for such prestigious organizations as the Art Institute of Chicago and the Cleveland Orchestra. His lifelong interest in historically important singing has led to lecture residencies at the University of Texas at Austin and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Pines has also undertaken a five-week seminar at Chicago’s Newberry Library, one of the most renowned independent research libraries in the world.
Pines joined the faculty of the Bienen School of Music in the Fall Quarter of 2019.