Jerry Hadley impressive American tenor 1952 – 2007

Jerry Hadley impressive American tenor 1952 - 2007

Jerry Hadley (June 16, 1952 – July 18, 2007) was an American operatic tenor. He received three Grammy awards for his vocal performances in the recordings of Jenůfa (2004 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording), Susannah (1995 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording), and Candide (1992 Grammy Award for Best Classical Album). Hadley was a leading American tenor for nearly two decades. He was a protégé of soprano Dame Joan Sutherland and her husband, conductor Richard Bonynge. A versatile singer, Hadley was equally at home in opera and operetta and on Broadway.

Jerry Hadley impressive American tenor 1952 – 2007

Early life and training

Jerry Hadley was born and raised in Manlius, Illinois, of Italian and English parents. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. Where he was a member of the Delta Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, a men’s music fraternity. Hadley first studied to become a conductor, but after four years turned to singing. He studied voice under Dr. John Davis while at Bradley, ultimately earning his master’s degree in voice at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. At Illinois he studied voice with Grace Wilson and James Bailey, and coached with pianists John Wustman and Eric Dalheim. He starred in many School of Music opera productions, including Tamino in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Nemorino in Donizetti’s Elixir of Love, Alfred in Johann Strauss Jr’s Die Fledermaus. Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress by Stravinsky.

Career

Hadley’s early years as a professional singer were spent in regional opera houses in the U.S. He was then snapped up by Beverly Sills, who had heard him in the National Opera Institute auditions in 1978 and offered him a New York City Opera contract on the spot. He also commenced vocal training in New York with vocal teacher Thomas Lo Monaco. Hadley became a regular member of the roster of the New York City Opera after his debut there as Arturo in Lucia di Lammermoor in 1979.

In 1982 he made his first appearance at the Vienna State Opera as Nemorino in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore. He frequently performed at the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala, Royal Opera House at Covent Garden. Deutsche Oper Berlin, Hamburg State Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, San Diego Opera. Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg festivals.

Hadley was known for his interpretations of lyric tenor opera roles as well as his performances of Broadway musicals, operetta, and popular music. One of his best-selling recordings was the EMI three-CD recording of the complete score of Show Boat, conducted by John McGlinn. Hadley sang the role of Gaylord Ravenal.

Belcanto

Hadley sang the tenor roles of the bel canto repertory (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’elisir d’amore, Anna Bolena, La bohème, Lucia di Lammermoor). As well as Mozart (Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflöte, La clemenza di Tito). The French Romantics (Les contes d’Hoffmann, Faust, Werther, Manon). He also sang the tenor soloist in Handel’s Messiah and Verdi’s Requiem. He sang the role of Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress for much of his career, first performing it while a graduate student at the University of Illinois.

In the early 1990s

In the early 1990s, Hadley appeared on The Long Goodbye, an album of reinterpretations of the music of Procol Harum featuring past and present members of the band, augmented by orchestra and guest vocalists; Hadley’s contribution was a stirring vocal interpretation of the classic, ”Grand Hotel”.

In 1996, Jerry Hadley commissioned the composer Daniel Steven Crafts to create music for selected poems by Carl Sandburg.The work, The Song and The Slogan, premiered in 2000 at the University of Illinois, and was made into a PBS video, which won an Emmy Award for Best Musical Performance by the Mid-America Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Among the performers in the premiere were University professors and musicians with whom he had worked while a student, including pianist Eric Dalheim, conductor Paul Vermel,  and cellist Barbara Hedlund.

Hadley created the role of Don Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva, in Myron Fink’s 1997 opera, The Conquistador,  and the title role in John Harbison’s 1999 The Great Gatsby, based on the novel of the same name. Outside opera, he created the tenor part in Sir Paul McCartney’s 1991 Liverpool Oratorio.

Salzburg Festival

At the 1998 Salzburg Festival, Hadley sang the lead tenor role in Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, a staging that was filmed and commercially released. But Hadley made many recordings. He recorded under Richard Bonynge’s baton in the bel canto genre, and Leonard Bernstein selected him to sing the title role in a complete 1989 recording of his operetta Candide, led by the composer a year before he died; London concerts of the operetta given that year with the same principal singers, including Hadley, were separately televised and commercially released.

As a recitalist, Hadley gave concerts in Europe and the United States, and his performances regularly featured American music. He performed frequently with the American conductor-pianist Alexander Frey, and at the time of Hadley’s death they were planning to record two new solo compact discs of song repertoire of Austria and Hollywood. Hadley also performed frequently with pianist Eric Dalheim.

Divorce and withdrawal from the stage

Following his divorce from pianist Cheryll Drake Hadley in 2002, Hadley in large part abandoned singing and the stage for five years. A few months before his death, he had begun a major comeback, with the public and critics noting a renewed freshness, control and vibrancy to his voice. His last operatic performances were in May 2007 in Brisbane, Australia, as Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly with Opera Queensland. Following those performances, critics hailed Hadley’s voice and singing for having a new-found sense of youth and clarity, coupled with a perfect technique and sure dramatic sense.

In an interview with The Courier-Mail, Hadley commented on his return to the stage after his long absence since his divorce: ”A wounded bird cannot sing. It was tough. It was emotionally distressing and it goes straight to the throat. So I took some time off and sat in the quiet for a while. I never really understood how inseparable was the journey of the spirit and the journey of singing and making music. For the first time in my life I couldn’t see a way forward. But I came out on the other side of it with a deeper appreciation of what a great gift and great opportunities God has given me.”

Suicide

On July 10, 2007, Hadley suffered brain damage after apparently shooting himself in the head with an air rifle at his home in Clinton Corners, New York.  His fiancée heard the shot and called 911.  He was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, New York, had CAT scans as well as X-rays that showed severe brain injury, and was put on life support.  On July 16 he was taken off life support,  and he died two days later.

Metropolitan Opera

[Met Performance] CID:287670
Manon {219}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/7/1987
Debut: Jerry Hadley
[Met Performance] CID:287690
Manon {220}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/10/1987
[Met Performance] CID:295650 
Eugene Onegin {88}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/9/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295700
Eugene Onegin {89}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/13/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295760
Eugene Onegin {90}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/18/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295780
Eugene Onegin {91}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/21/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295820  Opera News
Eugene Onegin {92}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/25/1989
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:295850
Rigoletto {642}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/28/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295880
Rigoletto {643}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/31/1989
[Met Performance] CID:295940
Rigoletto {644}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/6/1989
Debuts: Sumi Jo, Jean Rawn
[Met Performance] CID:295980
Rigoletto {645}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/10/1989
[Met Performance] CID:296010
Rigoletto {646}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/13/1989
[Met Performance] CID:296080
Rigoletto {647}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/20/1989
[Met Performance] CID:299040
Così Fan Tutte {119}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/8/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299080
Così Fan Tutte {120}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/12/1990
Review
[Met Performance] CID:299120
Così Fan Tutte {121}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/16/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299160  Opera News
Così Fan Tutte {122}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/20/1990
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:299270
Così Fan Tutte {124}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/31/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299310
Così Fan Tutte {125}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/3/1990
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:299650
Texaco-Metropolitan Opera 50th Anniversary Concert
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/10/1990
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:299770 
New Production
Don Giovanni {388}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/22/1990
Debut: Karita Mattila
Review
[Met Performance] CID:299810
Don Giovanni {389}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/26/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299840
Don Giovanni {390}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/29/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299880
Don Giovanni {391}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/2/1990
[Met Performance] CID:299910 
Don Giovanni {392}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/5/1990
Telecast
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:302000
Music in Memory of David Stivender
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/21/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302030
Rigoletto {666}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/26/1990
Debut: Guido Ajmone-Marsan, Sharon Thomas
[Met Performance] CID:302060
Rigoletto {667}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/29/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302100
Rigoletto {668}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/3/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302140
Rigoletto {669}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/6/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302230
Rigoletto {670}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/16/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302330
Rigoletto {673}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/26/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302460
La Traviata {750}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/8/1990
Debut: Suzanna Guzman
[Met Performance] CID:302500
La Traviata {751}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/12/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302550
La Traviata {752}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/17/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302590
La Traviata {753}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/21/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302630
La Traviata {754}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/26/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302660
La Traviata {755}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/29/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302710
La Traviata {756}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/4/1990
[Met Performance] CID:302750
La Traviata {757}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/8/1990
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:302800
La Traviata {758}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/13/1990
Debut: Haijing Fu
[Met Performance] CID:306030
Die Zauberflöte {271}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/26/1991
Debuts: Mikael Melbye, Winifred Faix Brown, Susan Graham
[Met Performance] CID:306070
Die Zauberflöte {272}
Metropolitan Opera House; 09/30/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306110
Die Zauberflöte {273}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/4/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306180
Die Zauberflöte {274}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/11/1991
Debut: Eike Wilm Schulte
[Met Performance] CID:306230
Die Zauberflöte {275}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/16/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306270
Die Zauberflöte {276}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/19/1991
Debut: Mark Oswald
[Met Performance] CID:306290
Die Zauberflöte {277}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/22/1991
Debut: David Asch
[Met Performance] CID:306370
Die Zauberflöte {279}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/30/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306410
Die Zauberflöte {280}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/2/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306430
Die Zauberflöte {281}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/5/1991
Debut: Sharon Christman, Brian Hilt
[Met Performance] CID:306470
Die Zauberflöte {282}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/9/1991
[Met Performance] CID:306950
La Traviata {770}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/28/1991
Debut: Peter Boal
[Met Performance] CID:306970
La Traviata {771}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/31/1991
[Met Performance] CID:307000
La Traviata {772}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/3/1992
[Met Performance] CID:307030
La Traviata {773}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/6/1992
[Met Performance] CID:307090
La Traviata {774}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/11/1992
[Met Performance] CID:310860
Eugene Onegin {98}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/16/1992
Debut: Sergei Leiferkus
Review
[Met Performance] CID:310890 Opera News
Eugene Onegin {99}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/19/1992
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:310920
Eugene Onegin {100}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/22/1992
[Met Performance] CID:310960
Eugene Onegin {101}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/26/1992
Debut: Ljubov Kazarnovskaya
[Met Performance] CID:310970
Eugene Onegin {102}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/28/1992
[Met Performance] CID:311000
Eugene Onegin {103}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/31/1992
[Met Performance] CID:314060
Die Zauberflöte {294}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/4/1993
[Met Performance] CID:314100
Die Zauberflöte {295}
Metropolitan Opera House; 10/8/1993
[Met Performance] CID:315030
Lucia di Lammermoor {493}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/10/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315070
Lucia di Lammermoor {494}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315120
Lucia di Lammermoor {495}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/19/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315160
Lucia di Lammermoor {496}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/22/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315190
Lucia di Lammermoor {497}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/26/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315220  Opera News
Lucia di Lammermoor {498}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/29/1994
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:315250
Lucia di Lammermoor {499}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/1/1994
[Met Performance] CID:315340
Lucia di Lammermoor {501}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/10/1994
[Met Performance] CID:318950
L’Elisir d’Amore {213}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/2/1995
[Met Performance] CID:318990
L’Elisir d’Amore {214}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/6/1995
[Met Performance] CID:319020
L’Elisir d’Amore {215}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/9/1995
[Met Performance] CID:319080
L’Elisir d’Amore {216}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/14/1995
[Met Performance] CID:319100
L’Elisir d’Amore {217}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/17/1995
[Met Performance] CID:319140 Opera News
L’Elisir d’Amore {218}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/21/1995
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:319230
L’Elisir d’Amore {220}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/28/1995
[Met Performance] CID:319280
L’Elisir d’Amore {221}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/3/1995
[Met Performance] CID:322900
Pension Fund Benefit
Die Fledermaus {186}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/31/1995
[Met Performance] CID:323260 
New Production
Così Fan Tutte {134}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/8/1996
Debut: Cecilia Bartoli
[Met Performance] CID:323310
Così Fan Tutte {135}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/13/1996
[Met Performance] CID:323360
Così Fan Tutte {136}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/17/1996
[Met Performance] CID:323390
Così Fan Tutte {137}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/21/1996
[Met Performance] CID:323420  Opera News
Così Fan Tutte {138}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/24/1996
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:323450 
Così Fan Tutte {139}
Metropolitan Opera House; 02/27/1996
Broadcast / Telecast
[Met Performance] CID:323500
Così Fan Tutte {140}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/2/1996
[Met Performance] CID:323520
Così Fan Tutte {141}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/5/1996
[Met Performance] CID:323620
Così Fan Tutte {143}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/14/1996
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:324090
James Levine Gala
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/27/1996
James Levine’s 25th Anniversary
Broadcast / Telecast
[Met Performance] CID:328320
Così Fan Tutte {153}
NHK Hall Tokyo, Japan; 06/3/1997
[Met Performance] CID:328350
Così Fan Tutte {154}
NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan; 06/6/1997
[Met Performance] CID:328380
Così Fan Tutte {155}
NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan; 06/9/1997
[Met Performance] CID:328400
Così Fan Tutte {156}
NHK Hall, Tokyo, Japan; 06/12/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330180
New Production
The Rake’s Progress {9}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/20/1997
Debuts: David Pittsinger, Peter J. Davison, Judy Levin, Jennifer Tipton
[Met Performance] CID:330192
The Rake’s Progress {10}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/24/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330201
The Rake’s Progress {11}
Metropolitan Opera House; 11/28/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330210
The Rake’s Progress {12}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/1/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330219
The Rake’s Progress {13}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/4/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330228
The Rake’s Progress {14}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/6/1997
[Met Performance] CID:330240
The Rake’s Progress {15}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/11/1997
Debut: Stefan Lano
[Met Performance] CID:330336
The Rake’s Progress {16}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/13/1998
[Met Performance] CID:330348 Opera News
The Rake’s Progress {17}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/17/1998
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:331543
Metropolitan Opera Premiere
Susannah {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/31/1999
Debut: Robert Falls
Review
[Met Performance] CID:331552 Opera News 1 Opera News 2
Susannah {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/3/1999
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:331561
Susannah {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/6/1999
[Met Performance] CID:331570
Susannah {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/9/1999
[Met Concert/Gala] CID:331579
National Council Grand Finals Concert
Metropolitan Opera House; 4/11/1999
First Appearance: Jossie Pérez, Kirstin Chávez, Kirk Eichelberger
[Met Performance] CID:331582
Susannah {5}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/13/1999
[Met Performance] CID:331591
Susannah {6}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/16/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332252 
World Premiere
The Great Gatsby {1}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/20/1999
Debuts: Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, William Powers, Albert Regni, Peter Bond, Tom Hutchinson, Christopher John Hall, Michael Werner, Linda Hall, Scott Kuney, Ming-Feng Hsin
Review
[Met Performance] CID:332261
The Great Gatsby {2}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/23/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332276
The Great Gatsby {3}
Metropolitan Opera House; 12/29/1999
[Met Performance] CID:332285 
The Great Gatsby {4}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/1/2000
Broadcast
[Met Performance] CID:332294
The Great Gatsby {5}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/4/2000
[Met Performance] CID:332303
The Great Gatsby {6}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/7/2000
[Met Performance] CID:332318
The Great Gatsby {7}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/12/2000
[Met Performance] CID:332330
The Great Gatsby {8}
Metropolitan Opera House; 01/15/2000
[Met Performance] CID:350023
The Great Gatsby {9}
Metropolitan Opera House; 04/29/2002
[Met Performance] CID:350024
The Great Gatsby {10}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/03/2002
[Met Performance] CID:350025
The Great Gatsby {11}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/07/2002
[Met Performance] CID:350026
The Great Gatsby {12}
Metropolitan Opera House; 05/11/2002
[Met Performance] CID:352402
La Traviata {939}
Metropolitan Opera House; 03/06/2008
Broadcast/Streamed

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