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Published: Wednesday, 7/11/2007

Tenor Jerry Hadley on life support after apparent suicide attempt

ASSOCIATED PRESS

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. Tenor Jerry Hadley, whose voice was heard at top opera houses and graced Grammy- and Emmy-winning recordings, was on life support today after shooting himself, police said.

Hadley appeared under the auspices of the Toledo Opera in 1998 at the Peristyle.

Hadley created the title role in composer John Harbison s Great Gatsby at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the lead in Paul McCartney s Liverpool Oratorio. And Leonard Bernstein chose Hadley to sing the main part in Bernstein s musical Candide.

The 55-year-old singer, who has been struggling recently with his career and finances, was arrested last year in Manhattan while at the wheel of his parked car on a charge of driving while intoxicated. Prosecutors later dropped the case.

On Tuesday just after 7 a.m., he shot himself with an air rifle at his home Clinton Corners, several miles outside Poughkeepsie, said Robert Rochler, a senior investigator with the New York State Police.

State troopers found Hadley on the floor of his bedroom, unconscious from a self-inflicted head wound, Rochler said in a statement.

An ambulance took Hadley to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie, where doctors determined that he had a severe brain injury and put him on life support.

Medical staff will evaluate his condition Thursday to determine if he is to remain on life support, according to the statement.

The statement also said that Hadley was filing for bankruptcy and being treated by a doctor for depression.

A native of Manlius, Ill., Hadley started his career in regional companies, singing everything from Mozart to Broadway. His agile romantic tenor was noticed in the late 1970s by the late Beverly Sills, then general director of the New York City Opera, which hired him.

Hadley made his European debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1982 in Gaetano Donizetti s L Elisir d Amore, famed for its tenor aria with nine high C s.

He then performed at Milan s La Scala, the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the San Francisco Opera, the San Diego Opera and the festivals in Glyndebourne, England, Aix-en-Provence, France and Salzburg, Austria.

In 1996, Hadley commissioned composer Daniel Steven Crafts to write music for poems by Carl Sandburg. The work, The Song and the Slogan, was made into a PBS video that won an Emmy.

Hadley was featured in the 2004 Grammy-winning recording of Leos Janacek s opera Jenufa.

He also excelled in more popular music, including a best-selling recording of Show Boat.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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