Star tenor Jerry Hadley on life support after suicide attempt
Hadley created the title role in composer John Harbison's "Great Gatsby" at the Metropolitan Opera, as well as the lead in Paul McCartney's "Liverpool Oratorio." And Leonard Bernstein had chosen Hadley to sing the main part in Bernstein's musical "Candide."
The 55-year-old singer, who has been struggling recently with his career and finances, was arrested last year in Manhattan on a charge of driving while intoxicated — at the wheel of his parked car. Prosecutors later dropped the case.
On Tuesday morning, he shot himself with an air rifle at his home near 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 and put him on life support.
Medical staff will evaluate his condition Thursday to determine if he is to remain on life support, according to the statement.
Hadley has been tackling "financial problems and was in the process of filing for bankruptcy. He has been very depressed and was under a doctor's care for the depression and being treated with several medications," the statement said.
A native of Manlius, Illinois, Hadley started his career in regional companies around the country, 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.
Hadley made his European debut at the Vienna State Opera in 1982 in Gaetano Donizetti's "L'elisir d'amore," famed for its tenor aria with nine high C's.
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.