Born in Oakland, California, Heater grew up in a Mormon family and at the age 19 served as missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He began his careful examination of the Book of Mormon after fasting while reading it from cover to cover while still on his Mission.
Career as a Tenor
From 1961-1964 Heater concentrated on re-training his voice as a tenor, first with Mario del Monaco in Rome and later with Max Lorenz in Munich and Salzburg. He was scheduled for his debut in Munich as Parsifal at the Prinzeregententheater, an opera house built like the Bayreuth Festspiel House that was still being renovated. So his first performance as a tenor was in the title role of Hans Werner Henze's König Hirsch at the Bavarian State Opera in 1964. The performance was a great success and he became the leading dramatic tenor at the opera house from 1964–1968; drawing particular acclaim for his portrayal of Wagnerian heroes like Siegmund in Die Walküre, Tristan in Tristan und Isolde, and the title roles...