Date of death: 18-07-2007
Keep on sharing memories of Jerry Hadley.
The Illinois-born Hadley sang everything from Mozart to show tunes, and was renowned nationwide. From the New York City Opera to the San Francisco Opera, ...
The Illinois-born Hadley sang everything from Mozart to show tunes, and was renowned nationwide. From the New York City Opera to the San Francisco Opera, his voice was certainly recognizable and highly enviable. He will be missed.
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I knew Jerry Hadley well from 1982. I was a super in La Boheme, when he was unusually kind to me. We became close friends, he considering me his mother. Favorite memory: spending whole day walking, talking in New orleans together. I miss him terribly.
I was in the "kinder corps" of the Lake George Opera Festival in upstate New York from when I was 9 to 16. When I was thirteen, Jerry Hadley was in the chorus (!) of The Mikado. He would have been in his mid-twenties. That I remember him out of hundreds of talented singers is remarkable, especially since I always preferred baritones.
Jerry Hadley was a hard worker. Many of the other singers played with the children on rehearsal breaks (in that company they were usually either somewhere in college or enjoying their retirement) but he was studying the score. Not that he was unfriendly, far from it, he was affable, and polite and (this is the memory of a thirteen year old) very handsome.
I remember thinking that he'd make a great Fenton, because his voice was so light. And he was a good actor, so much so that I recall specific bits of stage business from his singing "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" at a benefit.
So I followed his career with vicarious pride. And his life seemed so ... solved. The greatest American tenor, he was frequently called, and his lovely wife was his accompanist. Looks, personality, talent, facility with languages. If his career took a downturn in his fifties, well, whose doesn't?? Even if you are not a singer.
I would have loved opera without him, but knowing Jerry Hadley was a happy part of my youth, and the fact that my toddler daughter often insists on hearing opera is in a small part his success.
For sound files and photos of Jerry from our Emmy winning PBS documentary, go to http://home.insightbb.com/~vcello1/song_and_slogan.html
A memorial tribute to Jerry will take place in Manlius, Illinois on Sat. Sept. 22, 2007 at 7PM at the Bureau Valley High School Auditorium. Performing in the memorial ceremony will be musicians from Bureau Valley High School (Katherine Donnelly, Soprano), the University of Illinois School of Music (Professor Emeritus Bass-Baritone Ronald Hedlund, Professor Emeritus Eric Dalheim Piano, Tenor Marc Day, Soprano Lori Fisher,) Cellist Barbara Hedlund, and The Bradley University Chorale and chamber ensemble, Directed by Dr. John Jost.
Speakers will include friend Larry M. DeBrock (University of Illinois Professor of Business Administration and Economics,Joyce Hadley Jenkins (Mr. Hadley's sister), Mary Heward (Bureau Valley Schools Foundation President), Suzanne Hassler
(The University of Illinois School of Music Coordinator of Alumni Relations
& Development), with closing remarks by friend and mentor Grant
Andresen. A power point presentation with audio selections of Mr. Hadley
in performance is anticipated. A social hour will follow in the commons
immediately after the ceremony.
Another memorial event will take place at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Illinois Urbana campus on January 25, 2008.
I never had the good fortune to see Jerry in performance but know him principally from his fabulous performance as Candide under bernstein in London at the Barbican.
What a tragedy that he is now gone from us - a fantastic voice and wonderful presence - he brought much happiness to the world through his singing and much sadness at his loss.
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