New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams has been featured in Opera News magazine as a Soundbyte artist and has received international acclaim for his performances on stage and in concert. He is renowned for his dynamic stage presence and ability to draw true, honest characters in his performances. His broad repertoire spans from Baroque and Bel Canto through Britten and to contemporary composition. He has collaborated with some of today’s greatest artists on the concert platform, and on the opera stage.
Over the past season Hadleigh has made his debut performances with some of the United States’ top companies. He has performed with Pittsburgh Opera, London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Cincinnati opera, Oakland Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, the Colorado Symphony, and Opera Omaha. He has performed repeatedly with the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony. Later this season he performs with the American Bach Soloists, Philharmonia Baroque, and the Los Angeles Philharmonia.
Following his formal studies, Hadleigh made his debut at London’s Royal National Theatre singing the role of Christ in Jonathan Miller’s staged production of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion to critical acclaim. He performed in concert at London’s St. Martin-in-the-Fields, the London Song Recital series, and has performed at the Wigmore Hall as a Voiceworks series artist.
Following these performances, Hadleigh was invited to join the Merola Opera Program at the San Francisco Opera. He was then invited to join the San Francisco Opera as an Adler Fellow, the first New Zealander to ever hold the position. During his two-year tenure with the company Hadleigh appeared in over 75 main stage performances, and over 20 concert performances. His final performance with the company was in the role of Schaunard in La Bohème.
In 2015 Hadleigh made his New York debut in RB Schlather’s production of Handel’s Orlando at Whitebox NYC. This production, conducted by Geoffrey McDonald, won praise from critics for its visceral, modern treatment of the work. The New York Times wrote: “A muscular stud in head-to-toe skin-tight leather .... Overseeing all is the magician Zoroastro, sung by Hadleigh Adams with a dark yet flexible bass and a glowering presence.”
Hadleigh began his operatic education at the University of Auckland gaining a Bachelor of Music, with first class, first division honors and then completing his Masters of Music at the New Zealand School of Music. From there he was invited to join the New Zealand Opera as a company Artist. In 2009 he relocated to Australia as the inaugural Gertrude Johnson Scholar at The Opera Studio, Melbourne. He then received a full scholarship to London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied with Rudolf Piernay and Janice Chapman, gaining a Masters of Music with Distinction, and completing the opera program with first class, first division honors.