Felsenmusick - The Weblog of Daniel Felsenfeld
The Web Log of a Certain Daniel Felsenfeld: Composer, critic, avid reader, aspiring
bon vivant, capricorn, shadowy figure, advice for the lovelorn

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Another Legend Gone

Tenor Jerry Hadley shot himself in the head with an air rifle in his Poughkeepsie home last night. He is alive, but there doesn't seem to be much prospect for him; he is not expected to recover. I not only adore his recordings of Show Boat and Candide (not-so-guilty pleasures, I suppose), but also saw him in the second go-round at the Met of John Harbison's unjustly maligned The Great Gatsby. I remember thinking that his somewhat faltering tone (for which he got his share of poor press) was either wholly intentional for the role or a happy accident in casting. Whatever he did, though, was utterly persuasive: he made the gadfly Gatsby live, breathe, and sing.

So this is not an epitath: he is not dead, still lies with us. This is a commemoration of someone who obviously had greater problems than a warbling pitch--his legal troubles in the last few years drew more atention that his artistry. He will be missed.

He should be remembered like this, singing gloriously under Bernstein's baton. Or like this, aside Karita Mattila, under Abbado, singing Schubert.


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