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The World of Composer Richard Wagner and his operas. www.wagneroperas.com with frequent forays into the world of art, culture, and film.

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Vincent Vargas is a foreign language teacher at a private school in New York City. He runs websites dedicated to Casablanca (www.vincasa.com) and Richard Wagner (www.wagneroperas.com).

Friday, July 20, 2007

Jerry Hadley Dies

After the death of Beverly Sills and Regine Crespin this month, tenor Jerry Hadley now dies after a self-inflicted head wound. Here is a short obituary in the New York Times

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) -- Jerry Hadley, a world-class tenor known for his agile and lyric voice, died Wednesday, a week after he shot himself in an apparent suicide attempt. He was 55.

The singer died two days after doctors at St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie took him off life support, said family friend and spokeswoman Celia Novo.

Hadley, who had been battling personal problems, shot himself with an air rifle July 10 at his home in Clinton Corners, 80 miles north of New York City. State police said he was found unconscious on his bedroom floor.

The Illinois-born Hadley sang everything from Mozart to show tunes, including appearing on a recording of Show Boat that was a best-seller.

He built his reputation tackling demanding work, including the title role in composer John Harbison's 1999 The Great Gatsby at The Metropolitan Opera. Leonard Bernstein chose Hadley to sing the title role in a 1989 production of his musical Candide, and he sang the lead in Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio in 1991.

Hadley was featured in Leos Janacek's opera Jenufa, which won a Grammy in 2004.

Hadley started his career in regional companies. He was noticed in the late 1970s by Beverly Sills then general director of The New York City Opera which hired him. She died earlier this month.

Hadley in recent years had been dealing with financial problems and was being treated for depression, police said after the shooting. He had been arrested in Manhattan last year in a parked car on a charge of driving while intoxicated. His lawyer said the singer never intended to drive because he realized he was tipsy, and the case was eventually dropped.

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