Minnesota Opera – Fellow Travelers, “I’m Timothy Laughlin”
Minnesota Opera – Fellow Travelers, “Quite a View”
Hadleigh Adams is an artist who delivers totally in what he does: the voice, the character, the narrative projected with a musical intelligence and true-to-life dramatic gifts that naturally commend him for contemporary repertoire.
He sings a lot of Bernstein (Maximilian in Candide with the San Francisco Symphony; Sam in Trouble in Tahiti for Melbourne Opera Studio; solo roles in Mass with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and, to come, at Lincoln Center). He has appeared in Lou Harrison’s Young Caesar and Annie Gosfield’s War of the Worlds, both with the LAPhil; in Mark Adamo’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene with the San Francisco Opera (‘outstanding’ as Simon, said the San Francisco Examiner); in Stravinsky’s Oedipus with the Philharmonia Orchestra; Sondheim’s A Little Night Music for Nederlands Reisoper; and Thomas Ades’ Powder her Face for West Edge Opera. Coming up this summer, he has Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travellers for Minnesota Opera and Luka Francesconi’s Quartett for West Edge.
He’s essentially a baritone – ‘dense yet flexible’ observed the New York Times – but with a downward reach that encompasses the low Fs and Gs of bass-baritone repertoire, extending to the territory that in baroque music gets loosely described as ‘bass’. And baroque is another of his specialities.
He made his professional debut in Jonathan Miller’s celebrated 2012 staging of the St Matthew Passion at the Royal National Theatre, London – playing Christ in a performance described by the Guardian as ‘tremendous…beguiling’. Since then he’s taken the same role with the Colorado Symphony, as well singing Bach cantatas with ensembles like the Atlanta Symphony, Messiahs with the American Bach Soloists and Master Chorale of South Florida, and (edging into later territory) Beethoven’s Mass in C with Nicholas McGegan’s Philharmonia Baroque.
In early opera he’s sung Pollux in Rameau’s Castor et Pollux and the title role in Vivaldi’s Bajazet, both for Pinchgut Opera, Sydney, along with Claudius in Handel’s Agrippina for Opera Omaha. And he made a resounding New York debut as Zoroastro in R.B.Schlather’s small-scale but sensational 2015 staging of Handel’s Orlando at the Whistlebox, Manhattan: a performance singled out by the New York Times for its ‘glowering presence’ and by Opera Today as a ‘show-stopper…The audience tingled with excitement every time he stepped onto the stage’.
‘Adams manages to use his gorgeous instrument with ease and beauty’, that review continued, ‘under the strain of outlandish costumes or unusual staging. His movement is deft and cat-like, and his sound precision never suffers as he manoeuvres the stage with the agility of a seasoned dancer’.
More conventionally he has played Guglielmo/Cosi for Pittsburgh Opera, Dr Falke/Fledermaus for Cincinnati Opera, and amassed a body of work ‘remarkable for its economy and intelligence’ (Opera News) during his time as an Adler Fellow and alumnus of the Merola young artists’ program at San Francisco Opera. It was there that he scored a notable success as Schaunard/La Boheme in an account that ‘completely captivated’ the Huffington Post for its ‘charisma’ and ‘passion’. He returns to San Francisco this autumn to sing Angelotti/Tosca.
Originally from New Zealand, Hadleigh Adams studied at the Guildhall School, London and is now based in the United States – where Opera News has featured him as one of its selected ‘Soundbyte’ artists. A career to watch.