16, 1952 - July 18, 2007
Let us remember Jerry Hadley in our prayers.
CLICK HERE if you wish to post a TRIBUTE to JERRY HADLEY.
Don Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva, THE CONQUISTADOR
- the first role Hadley created on the operatic stage
Jerry Hadley was considered the leading American tenor of his generation
and one of the most sought-after singers of our time. A natural singer,
he was widely acclaimed for both his interpretations of the lyrical tenor
roles of the operatic repertory and his "crossover" ventures
into the less rarefied world of Broadway, operetta, and popular music.
Indeed, to him both types of music are equally valid forms of entertainment
and the judgment of whether they are art was not for him to dictate but
for audiences to make.
He sung the popular tenor roles of the bel canto repertory (Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L'Elisir d' Amore, AnnaBolena, La Boheme, Lucia di Lamermoor) as well as Mozart's (Cosi fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Die Zauberflote, La Clemenza di Tito ) and the French Romantics' (Les Contes d'Hoffmann, Faust) in operatic performances, on the concert stage and in the recording studio. CLICK HERE to view some images.
Jerry Hadley was born and raised in the Midwest of Italian and English parents. He first studied to become a conductor but after four years realized his true calling was singing. His early years as a singer were spent in regional opera houses in the U.S. He then became a stalwart of the New York City Opera after his baptism-by-fire debut as Arturo in Lucia di Lamermoor, an experience happily looked back on as a comedy of errors. ( CLICK HERE to read the account of that memorable evening - be warned though - it's guaranteed to have you in stitches!)
But he could not have had a more propitious international debut. In 1982 he made his first European appearance at the Vienna State Opera as Nemorino in Donizetti's L'Elisir d'Amore. The audience loved him, and debuts in the world's other great opera houses soon followed. He became a frequent performer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala in Milan, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden in London, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Hamburg State Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the San Diego Opera and the Glyndebourne, Aix-en-Provence and Salzburg Festivals.
Then, a professionally mature Hadley increasingly took on the more dramatic and complex role of the troubled hero. For example, Tom Rakewell in The Rake's Progress, Stravinsky's most celebrated and only full-length opera, was a role he has made his own. (He sung it for many years, eventually re-creating the role in a new production of the Metropolitan Opera - only its second in over 40 years.) In the 1998-99 season, he sang the tenor role in Weill's The Rise and fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Salzburg Festival. Starting with The Conquistador (which instantly appealed to both his dramatic and musical instincts), he was sought after by composers to create new roles. In the 1999 season, he created for the Metropolitan Opera the role of The Great Gatsby, John Harbison's work based on F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same title.
Jerry Hadley worked with the world's great conductors, but felt particularly close to Richard Bonynge (CLICK HERE for remarks excerpted from a FanFaire interview with Hadley)- with whom he made many recordings in the bel canto genre, and the late Leonard Bernstein - who selected him to sing the title role in the great Maestro's operetta Candide. A prolific recording artist, Hadley's discography expanded as his career flourished. He also sang the solo tenor role in Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio. A thoroughly modern man plying an ancient (yet constantly renewing) craft, he was very comfortable with modern media and was able to build on his television credits along with his stage credentials.
Following his performance as The Conquistador, FanFaire interviewed Mr. Hadley who very graciously shared his thoughts about the opera as well as other subjects of musical interest. For excerpts, CLICK HERE.
Most of the images and informational materials on Mr Hadley were kindly provided by San Diego Opera and UCSD-TV which telecast an interview (available on video) with Mr. Hadley in the Spring of 1997
Music clip is excerpted from "Ach, so fromm, ach, so traut," an aria from the opera MARTHA by Friedrich von Flotow, - sung by Jerry Hadley. Source: Track 14, The American Opera Singer (RCA, 1997).
PROFILE INTERVIEW TRIAL BY FIRE OPERA IMAGES ON SUTHERLAND & BONYGE
THE CONQUISTADOR: CREATING THE ROLE THE CAST OVERVIEW
about FANFAIRE AUDIOFILES NEW RELEASES FOOD & MUSIC EMAIL UPDATE
Design and Original Content: FanFaire LLC © 1997-2007. All rights reserved.