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Tenor Jerry Hadley reportedly shoots himself

Tenor Jerry Hadley, whose voice was heard at top opera houses and graced Grammy- and Emmy-winning recordings, was on life support Wednesday after shooting himself, police said.
/ Source: The Associated Press

Celebrated tenor Jerry Hadley remained hospitalized Thursday for a gunshot wound police said was self-inflicted.

Hadley created the title role in composer John Harbison’s “The Great Gatsby” at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the lead in Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio.” Leonard Bernstein chose him to sing the main part in a 1989 production of Bernstein’s musical “Candide.”

A hospital employee declined to provide an update on his condition Thursday, citing confidentiality laws. Hadley was on life support Wednesday.

On Tuesday just after 7 a.m., the 55-year-old singer shot himself with an air rifle at his Clinton Corners home, 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.

Medical staff will evaluate his condition Thursday to determine whether 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.

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Hadley 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.

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.

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.”