Jerry Hadley (1952–2007) was regarded as the leading American tenor of his generation and one of the most sought-after singers of his time. He received international acclaim for his interpretation of the great Mozart operatic tenor rôles, as well as those of the French romantic and bel canto eras, and was equally renowned for his expertise in twentieth-century operas and American operas. His affinity and stylistic ease with Broadway musical theater, operetta and American popular song was perhaps the most distinctive quality of his career. Jerry Hadley sang the title rôle in the DG recording of Bernstein’s “Candide,” with the composer conducting, this album won in 1991 a Grammy® award for best classical album. In 1999 and 2002, Mr Hadley created the title rôle in John Harbison’s opera “The Great Gatsby” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Jerry Hadley’s operatic career was launched in 1976 at the Lake George Opera Festival. A stalwart of both the New York City Opera and the Washington Opera at the Kennedy Center during his formative years, his international career was launched with a spectacular European début on the stage of the Vienna State Opera in 1982. He appeared regularly at New York’s Metropolitan Opera, Milan’s La Scala, London’s Royal Opera at Covent Garden, the Hamburg State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Staatsoper, the Zurich Opera, the Geneva Opera, the Netherlands Opera, the Paris Opéra Bastille, Opéra Lyon, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the Glyndebourne Festival, the Festivale d’Aix-en-Provence and the Salzburg Festival.
He was a regular guest with the world’s great orchestras and conductors, an accomplished recitalist and a prolific recording artist, with over sixty albums to his credit. He was a three-time Grammy® winner and has been awarded countless other distinctions for his artistry. Mr Hadley died in July 2007 in Poughkeepsie, New York.