Hadleigh Adams


Hadleigh Adams

Appears on: Mozart's Requiem

New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams has amassed an incredibly diverse portfolio of work at the highest level. Equally at home on either the concert or opera stage, the New Yorker described him as simply “...a tour de force”. 

As a principal artist on the opera stage Mr. Adams has amassed a body of work remarkable in its breadth, and his performances are renowned for their intensity. Opera News said of his 2018 performance of Philip Glass’ les Enfants Terrible, performed with Opera Parallèle and under the composer’s supervision, “looking pale, youthful and slightly dazed as Paul, Adams was the evening’s vocal standout, projecting the text with elegant line and idiomatic French, he imbued the character with a sense of unhinged delicacy”). With the San Francisco Opera, he has performed over 85 mainstage performances. He also has the distinction of being the first New Zealander in the company’s history to be named both a Merola artist, and an Adler Fellow. 

In traditional repertoire Mr. Adams has performed a wide range of characters in a variety of musical styles: Ravel under the baton of Esa Pekka Salonen, Bernstein under Marin Alsop and Michael Tilson Thomas, Handel under Nicholas McGegan, Puccini under Nicola Luisotti, Mozart under the stage direction of Sir Thomas Allen, Handel under the stage direction of Christopher Alden, and Puccini under the stage direction of Les Miserables director, John Caird. His European debut was at London’s Royal National Theatre in a staged performance of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, playing the role of Jesus, and directed by Sir Jonathan Miller. The Guardian called his performance “simply beguiling”. 

A strong proponent of modern opera, he has performed as a principal in the premieres of over ten new operas, including Crossing by Matt Aucoin at BAM, under the direction of Tony award winner Diane Paulus. His US premiere was in Mark Adamo’s The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and he most recently performed in the premiere of Jake Heggie’s If I Were You. He has performed modern and contemporary opera with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Opera, Nederlandse Reisopera, San Francisco Symphony, Opera Parallèle and West Edge Opera. Opera News said of his 2018 daring performance of Luca Francesconi’s Quartett, “Baritone Hadleigh Adams was an impressive Valmont, singing with dark strength and supple, expressive tone…”. He was invited to the Netherlands National Touring Opera (Nederlandse Reisopera) to perform Carl Magnus in their new production of Sondheim’s A Little Night Music. Among many glowing reviews, Bachtrack said of his performance “Hadleigh Adams’ robust baritone fits the dashing but dim, testosterone fueled Carl-Magnus like a glove”.

On the concert stage he has performed as a soloist with the London Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa Pekka Salonen, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, the San Francisco Opera Orchestra under Nicola Luisotti, Chicago Symphony orchestra under Marin Alsop at the Ravinia Festival, Louis Langree with the Lincoln Center Festival, and Philharmonia Baroque under Nicholas McGegan. He has also performed with the American Bach Soloists, Nashville Symphony, and Colorado Symphony. Renowned for his Handel, he has performed The Messiah in excess of 100 times.

He has appeared in concert performances at Wigmore Hall as a Voiceworks artist, performed Brahms with the late Leon Fleisher at the renowned Marlboro Music Festival, and for his debut American recital, a Schwabacher Debut Recital, he was accompanied by renowned American pianist, Steven Blier. The San Francisco Chronicle said “The undeniable standout of the afternoon… The palpable honesty of his approach and the masterful beauty of his singing were irresistible.”

Engagements that were interrupted by Covid-19 included Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Fabio Luisi, Bach’s Easter Oratorio with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under Jane Glover, Partenope (Ormonte) with the San Francisco Opera, The Messiah, with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra under Nic McGegan, Beethoven 9 with the Colorado Symphony and the Seattle Symphony, and Fellow Travelers with Opera Parallèle, San Francisco.

Upcoming engagements in the 2021-2022 season include productions of Everest, (Doug) by Jody Talbot and Glass’s la Belle et la Bette with Opera Parallèle, il Barbiere di Siviglia (Bartolo cover) with the San Francisco Opera, Fellow Travelers (Hawkins Fuller) with Florida Grand Opera, The Enchanted Pig (Pig) with the Australian Contemporary Opera Company, special guest at the Season Opening Gala Concert with Hawaii Opera Theater and Messiah engagements, with Nic McGegan and Apollo’s Fire, with the Jacksonville Symphony under Courtney Lewis, and with the San Antonio Symphony under Lee Mills.