Hailed a “comic tour-de-force” by Alex Ross of The New Yorker following his 2017 performances with the LA Philharmonic, New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams is a dedicated exponent of the performance of opera, concert, and crossover. In the past season he has performed a varied repertoire of baroque, classical, and modern opera, a broad selection of concert repertoire, along with music theatre performances.

United States based, Mr Adams is a frequent collaborator with the San Francisco Opera, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the San Francisco Symphony. On the operatic stage, throughout the past two seasons, Mr Adams has made his debut performances with the American Repertory Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pittsburgh Opera, Cincinnati Opera, Michigan Opera Theatre, Opera Omaha, West Edge Opera, and Opera Parallele. In concert he has performed with London's Philharmonia Orchestra under Esa Pekka Salonen, the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Gustavo Dudamel, the San Francisco Symphony under Michael Tilson Thomas, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under Robert Spano, and the Colorado Symphony with Cristian Macelaru.

This season he makes further debuts with the The Lincoln Centre, Minnesota Opera, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, American Bach Soloists, Pacific Symphony, and makes return performances with the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Next season he makes his debut with the Nederlandse National ReisOpera as Carl Magnus in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, returns to Cincinnati Opera as Mercutio in their season of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette, and further performances with the San Francisco Opera.

A trained actor, Mr Adams is deeply committed to the performance of opera that is rooted in a deep dramatic integrity. Last season’s performance as Paul in the Philip Glass opera Les Enfants Terrible led Opera News to say of his performance: 

Hadleigh Adams, looking pale, youthful and slightly dazed as Paul, was the evening’s vocal standout, projecting the text with elegant line and idiomatic French, he imbued the character with a sense of unhinged delicacy.” 

Mr Adams made his professional debut at London’s Royal National Theatre singing the role of Christ in Jonathan Miller’s staged production of Bach’s St Matthew Passionto critical acclaim, The Guardian newspaper calling his performance “utterly beguiling”. He has 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. 

His breakout role came in West Edge Opera’s production of Thomas Ades’ Powder Her Face. Hadleigh’s performance won praise from critics for hisvisceral, and modern treatment of the work. Fromthe Financial Times:

            “Hadleigh Adams’ elegant baritone served as both duke and judges, compact studies in sexual hypocrisy.


From the San Francisco Chronicle:

If this is what can be done in the area of new music – this degree of vocal and theatrical magnificence, this level of freshness and artistic imagination – then why on Earth should we ever settle for anything less? Baritone, Hadleigh Adams was a dynamo of precisely etched immediacy – most entertainingly as the trial judge who can barely restrain his prurient delight even as he condemns the Duchess’ erotic misdeeds.” 

Mr Adams studied opera at London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and was a San Francisco Opera Merola Opera Program participant. Following his Merola summer he was invited to join the San Francisco Opera as an Adler Fellow. During his two-year tenure with the company Hadleigh appeared in more than 75 main stage performances, and over 20 concert performances. 

2017-2018 season

Next performance

Hawkins Fuller

16-26 June 2018
Minneapolis, MN


Hawkins Fuller
Fellow Travelers
Minnesota Opera
Minneapolis, MN
16, 17, 19, 21, 23, 26 June 2018
More Info

Vicomte de Valmont
West Edge Opera
San Francisco, CA
9, 13, 18 August 2018
More Info

San Francisco Opera
San Francisco, CA
3, 7, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 30 October
More Info

Count Carl-Magnus Malcolm
A Little Night Music
Nederlandse National Reisopera
16, 21, 24, 26, 28, 30 March & 2, 4, 6, 9 April 2019
More Info

2018/2019 season

Bass soloist
American Bach Soloists
San Francisco, CA
13, 14, 15 December
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San Francisco Symphony
San Francisco, CA
18, 19, 20, 21 January
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Celebrant (cover) and soloist
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles, CA
01, 02, 03, 04 February
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Die Zauberflöte
Pacific Symphony
Costa Mesa, CA
25, 27, 28 February
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Hadleigh Adams
In Concert
Sun Valley Opera
Sun Valley, ID
01, 02 March 2018
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Baritone Soloist
Cantata 80
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Atlanta, GE
22, 24 March 2018
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Baritone Soloist
Choral Fantasy & C Major Mass
Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra
San Francisco, CA
25, 27, 28, 29 April 2018
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Bass soloist
Master Chorale of South Florida
Fort Lauderdale, FL
08 December 2017
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Bass soloist
Duke Chapel Choir
Durham, NC
01, 02, 03 December 2017
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General Lansing
War of the Worlds
Annie Gosfield
Los Angeles Philharmonic & The Industry
Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, CA
12, 18 November 2017
More Info


Walt Whitman (cover)
Matt Aucoin
Brooklyn Academy of Music & American Repertory Theatre
Brooklyn, NY
03, 05, 07, 08 October 2017
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Hadleigh Adams
Solo Concert
Firehouse Arts Centre
Pleasanton, CA
17 July 2017
More Info


Arias and Duets
San Francisco Symphony
Stern Grove, San Francisco
July 9 2017
More Info


Young Caesar
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles
June 13 2017
More Info


Duke, Judge, Hotelier
Creon, Tiresias

Powder Her Face
Trouble in Tahiti
Oedipus Rex
Rückert Lieder
Barbiere di Siviglia
la Fanciulla del West
St Matthew Passion
Les Enfants Terrible


West Edge Opera
The Melbourne Opera Studio
Philharmonia Orchestra
Oakland Symphony
Santa Cruz Symphony
Marin Oratorio
Opera Parallele
Michigan Opera Theatre
Colorado Symphony
Opera Parallele



Die Fledermaus
Pelléas et Mélisande
Cosí fan tutte
Dooryard Bloom
Belshazzar's Feast
Les Mamelles de Tiresias
An die Ferne Geliebte
Marlboro Music Festival


San Francsico Symphony
Cincinnati Opera
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Pittsburgh Opera
Pinchgut Opera
Sydney Philharmonia
SF Rainbow Symphony
UC Symphony
Opera Orlando
Vallejo Symphony
Marlboro Music Festival


Joe deRocher*

For a Look or a Touch
La Boheme
les Mamelles de Tirésias
Dead Man Walking
La Cenerentola


Whitebox NYC
Oakland Symphony
SF Gay Men’s Chorus
San Francisco Opera
Opera Parallele
San Francisco Opera
Opera Parallèle
San Francisco Opera


Marquis D'Obigny
Jimmy Knox

La Traviata
Madama Butterfly
Dolores Claiborne
il Barbiere di Siviglia


San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera
Opera Omaha
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera

2012 - 2013


Castor et Pollux
Les Contes d'Hoffman
Gospel of Mary Magdalene
La Jolie fille de Perth
La Finta Giardiniera
Dido and Aeneas
le Nozze di Figaro


Pinchgut Opera
San Francisco Opera
San Francisco Opera
Merola Opera Program
Merola Opera Program
Royal Melbourne Phil.
Guildhall School of Music

Powder her face
West edge opera

la boheme
san francisco Opera


Pinchgut Opera, sydney


les contes d'hoffmann
San francisco Opera


dolores claiborne
San francisco opera


Audio files

Opera News - August 2016.png

opera news

Featured in the August 2016 edition of Opera News, Hadleigh has been profiled as the issue's Sound Bite, a monthly feature profiling a young artist of note in the world of opera. The full article can be found by clicking here

H Adams


Late 2015 Hadleigh was interviewed by Sean Martinfield for the Huffington Post in a feature about his views on art song, and the future of the form. For the full article click here.

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 13.16.25.png


In the lead up to playing the title role in Vivaldi's Bajazet in Sydney 2015, Hadleigh sits down with Joanna Holcombe to discuss the point of it all, and the five things he thinks you need to know the first time you head to the opera. Click here

sydney morning herald

Before Hadleigh sang his opening night performance of Bajazet he sat down with the Sydney Morning Herald music critic to discuss the challenges that come with playing a role that is heard so infrequently and his philosophy on connecting with his audience. Click here 


A behind the scenes look at the rehearsal process and dramatic tension in creating opera as theatre in Bernstein's one-act opera about a marriage with no easy path forward. 

bay area reporter

Ahead of his debut San Francisco recital, Hadlegih speaks with Jason Victor Serinus on what it means to be an artist living in San Francisco. The challenges he has faced in his life to be where he is today, and his aspirations for the future. Click here

creon, tiresias, the messenger, oedipus rex - stravinsky
Philharmonia Orchestra, London

A small cast of superb vocal soloists...Hadleigh Adams giving strongly etched performances of Creon, Tiresias, and The Corinthian Messenger”
— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
....which contrasted sharply with the robustly masculine tone of bass-baritone Hadleigh Adams, who sang the roles of Creon, Tiresias, and the Messenger. All told, Hadleigh Adams almost stole the show in his three roles.
— James Roy MacBean, The Berkely Daily Planet

sam, trouble in tahiti - bernstein
Gertrude opera

Hadleigh Adams brought an aggravating tension to the drama with his deeply cavernous and adrenaline-rich baritone
— Paul Selar operachaser.com.au

duke, judge, hotel manager, powder her face - Ades
west edge opera

Other cast members take multiple roles, with Hadleigh Adams particularly effective as the vapid Duke, the condescending hotel manager, and the hypocritical judge who condemns and sentences the Duchess even while being pleasured under his robes. Adams handled the rangy role, from sleazy low glides to forceful, ringing top notes, with perfect detachment and sneer.
— Judith Malafronte - Opera News
Her Duke, sung by baritone Hadleigh Adams, was a dark-voiced monster of callousness. Adams maneuvered the role’s wide range with confidence and ping. He was at his best when he donned the robes of the hypocritical judge, who enjoyed receiving fellatio from his assistant (and who matched his delivery of each note to his level of stimulation) moments before denouncing the Duchess for her licentiousness.
— Ilana Walder-Biesanz - Bachtrack.com
If this is what can be done in the arena of new music — this degree of vocal and theatrical magnificence, this level of fearlessness and artistic imagination — then why on Earth should we ever have to settle for less? Baritone Hadleigh Adams was a dynamo of precisely etched immediacy — most entertainingly as the trial judge who can barely restrain his prurient delight even as he condemns the Duchess’ erotic misdeeds.
— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle
Hadleigh Adams’s elegant baritone served as both duke and judges, compact studies in sexual hypocrisy
— Allan Ulrich - Financial Times
New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams... currently based in the US, his local reputation is assured with his combination of resonant voice, nuanced acting and drop-dead good looks. In the pivotal roles of the iniquitous Duke, Judge and unyielding Hotel Manager, Adams confidently delivered the goods.
— Philip Campbell - Bay Area Reporter

Dr Falke, die fledermaus - J. Strauss
CINcinnati Opera

Just as impressive was Hadleigh Adams, who as Dr. Falke was a good match for Eisenstein in vocal heft and vitality as he sought revenge on his friend.
— Janelle Gelfand - Cincinnati Enquirer
Hadleigh Adams was an elegant Falke, spinning his solo lines with feeling,
— Rafael De Acha - Seenandheard-international.com

requiem - Faure
San francisco symphony chorus

Adams’ solos, on the other hand, found just the right fit to the tone set by the choral movements...there was much to appreciate in his ability to work on a quiet and more introspective scale.
— Stephen Smoliar, The Examiner

an die ferne geliebte - Beethoven

An Die Ferene Geliebte...was performed with the addition of the extraordinary baritone Hadleigh Adams, also a New Zealander. Here Mr. Adams lent perfectly tempered power and clarity,
— Elizabeth Warnimont - Classical Sonoma

Guglielmo, così fan tutte - mozart
Pittsburgh opera

Hadleigh Adams captured Guglielmo’s machismo with a gravelly, dark-hued
— Elizabeth Bloom, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

liebeslieder walzer, brahms
marlboro music festival

The highlight of Saturday’s concert, also by Brahms, “Liebeslieder Waltzes,” Opus 52, by soprano Hyunah Yu, mezzo-soprano Lauren Eberwein, baritone Hadleigh Adams and tenor Spencer Lang with piano four-hands with Fleisher and his wife Kathy Jacobson...The four voices were individually excellent creating a beautiful blend delivering the varying moods
— Jim Lowe, Times Argus

bajazet, bajazet - vivaldi
pinchgut opera, sydney

Hadleigh Adams cut a dignified figure as the defeated Bajazet. He astutely infused his dark-hued timbre with nuanced dynamics and tone colours to convey his character’s emotional distress.
— Murray Black, The Australian
New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams took the title role of this tragedy of passion and power. While born from maturity and experience, his Bajazet was a man sure of his own worth with a stunning voice, which was flawless in many ways.

He commanded the stage when he was on it and with a considerable maturity and mellowness of tone. His vocal achievement for me was a joy and privilege to behold as he transported us all to another time and place while facing the ideal of ‘death before dishonour’.

He was the only player on stage who seemed to me ‘exotic’, which was not about the way he was dressed but everything to do with his bearing; carrying himself with great dignity. Passionate with a depth of emotion that was palatable, Adams could impressively sustain the intensity of the colours in the bottom register of his voice, while excelling in both the middle and upper reaches of the arias he was singing.

He was truly noble.

Adams was Bajazet, a stand-alone character. What he achieved was entirely up to his own personal pursuit of excellence and his strength in performance was compelling to watch. This wasn’t about pride, but about the assured self-confidence he oozed from every pore.

What a formidable force he is. Younger singers would learn a great deal from observing his considerable grace and style of movement on stage.
— Carolyn McDowell, The Culture Concept
Hadleigh Adams, in the title role, adds a dark, fascinating timbre to the vocal mix.
— Harriet Cunningham, Sydney morning Herald
Poor tortured Bajazet, deeply torn and troubled and conquered by Tamerlano, was splendidly performed by rugged Hadleigh Adams.
— Lynne Lancaster, artshub.com.au
In a word, superb...each gives a unique and exceptional performance. Adams radiates mournful consequence as Bajazet.
— Daniel Potts, Australian Stage
Bajazet, the defeated Turkish sultan, is performed by New Zealand born baritone Hadleigh Adams. He pours all the anguish of his defeat, his fear for the safe future of his remaining daughter, and his eventual desperation into deep, heart felt notes that are clear and moving.
— Carol Wimmer, stagewhispers.com.au
Held captive, Bajazet doesn’t feature heavily on stage but when he does Hadleigh Adams conveyed the prisoner’s unalterable hatred for Tamerlano with adrenalin-charged conviction and the sense that his presence was always near.
— Paul Selar, Bachtrack
As his rival, Bajazet, New Zealand baritone Hadleigh Adams sings with impressively biting tone,
— Clive Paget, Limelight Magazine

zoroastro, orlando - handel
RB SCHlather @ whitebox, new york

The show-stoppers are baritone Hadleigh Adams (Zoroastro) and soprano Anya Matanovic (Dorinda). The audience tingled with excitement every time Hadleigh Adams stepped onstage, whether he was donning a Leather Daddy suit, a Santa costume, or a too-small pair of underwear and nothing else. Adams manages to use his gorgeous instrument with ease and beauty even as he is put under the strains of outlandish costumes or unusual staging. His movement is deft and cat-like, and his sound production never suffers even as he maneuvers the stage with the agility of a seasoned dancer.
— Alexis Rodda, Opera Today
a muscular stud in head-to-toe skintight leather...Overseeing all is the magician Zoroastro, sung by Hadleigh Adams with a dense yet flexible bass and a glowering presence, whether in the aforementioned leather, a pair of white briefs or a Santa Claus costume.
— Zachary Woolfe, The New York Times
Hadleigh Adams delivered Zoroastro’s arias in a thundering bass with a secure top.
— Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News
The staging put great physical demands on the singers, who climbed and crawled on, over, around and under the playing area. It is to Mr. Schlather’s immense credit that all this activity felt utterly organic. That even extended to the moment when Mr. Adams—peeled down to white body paint and bikini briefs as an alluring god of death straddled the cowering Mr. Minter and drenched him in beer. Mr. Adams also filled out his costumes—or lack of them—most decoratively, and his dark lyric voice easily spanned Zoroastro’s vertiginous vocal leaps.
— James Jorden, The Observer
Zoroastro, being a magician, appeared in many guises, among them a Hell’s Angel type motorcycle dude, Santa Claus, and a patissier. Then he appeared in a “onesie” looking like a serpent. Then he showed up in white body paint. None of this distracted from his marvelously resonant voice as he sang “Sorge infausta una procella”, another musical highlight.
— Voce di Meche
Hadleigh Adams sang Zoroastro in the first scene and reappeared in many guises, often in the opera’s most compelling stage pictures as the demon within these characters, whispering in their ear the words that came out their mouths.
— David Sterns, Arts Journal
A magical outsider (Zoroastro) who went from a leather-clad biker to Santa Claus to a drag queen, to a near-naked man...Hadleigh Adams was compelling in his costume changes and authoritative bass singing.
— John Rockwell, Opera

schaunard, la boheme - puccini
san francisco opera

However, it was the fluid and touchingly attentive performance by Hadleigh Adams as Schaunard which completely captivated me. It’s rare to encounter a Schaunard who can demonstrate so much genuine charisma and communicate so much compassion.
— George Heymont, Huffington Post

jesus, st matthew passion - bach
Royal national theatre, london

Adams is tremendous. The presence of Hadleigh Adams’s beguiling Jesus ensures that the arias and choruses become reactions to the life and death of an individual, rather than abstract expressions of devotion: after his solitary walk to his off-stage Calvary, we are painfully conscious of his absence.
— Tim Ashley, The Guardian

marquis d'obigny, la traviata - verdi
san francisco opera

In supporting roles, Adler Fellows baritone Hadleigh Adams (Marquis d’Obigny), soprano Erin Johnson (Annina), and mezzo-soprano Zanda Švēde (Flora Bervoix) have all deepened their portrayals, with Adams’ voice notably impressive.
— Jason Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

billy budd, Billy budd excerpts - britten
San francisco Opera @ Stern GROVE

Hadleigh Adams‘ delivery of Billy’s final soliloquy from Billy Budd was so sweet-toned and poignant that it left a listener eager to hear him undertake the whole role.
— Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle

Claudio, agrippina - Handel
OPEra omaha

As Nero’s stepfather, Claudius, baritone Hadleigh Adams had a delivery that was impressively full-bodied and bold. He has a gorgeous voice and performed with a confidence befitting an emperor. Moreover, he had a physical presence that was commanding and powerful and conveyed that, like Agrippina, Claudius is used to getting what he wants.
— Kim Carpenter, The World Herald

in recital with Steven Blier
san francisco opera

The undeniable standout of the afternoon was tall, dark, and handsome Adams, who brought to Kahane’s The Memory Place singing as idiomatic, convincing, and virile as did John Raitt to the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein. He also succeeded remarkably in shucking his New Zealand accent. - After launching into Kahane’s “Underberg,” with a stylistic integrity and emotional identification that brought to mind the artistry of the young Joni Mitchell, Adams infused the final songs with rare vulnerability...The palpable honesty of his approach and the masterful beauty of his singing were irresistible.
— Jason Serinus, San Francisco Classical Voice

gendarme, les mamelles des tirésias - poulenc
opera parallèle

Hadleigh Adams brought snap and flair to Les Mamelles’ antagonist, the Constable.
— Michael Milenski, Opera Today

schlemil, les contes d'hoffman - offenbach
san francisco opera

The Adlers did their usual fine service in other roles, especially Hadleigh Adams as Schlemil.
— Michael Milenski, Opera Today

Simon, The Gospel of mary magdelene - adamo
san francisco opera

Maria Kanyova is outstanding, as are James Creswell as Pharisee and Adler Fellows Marina Harris as Tamar and Hadleigh Adams as Simon.
— Janos Greben, San Francisco Examiner

pollux, castor et pollux - rameau
pinchgut opera

he has an overwhelming quality as if it emanates from the earth to encompass you with a suave, clean, smooth tone, with more than a little push to it.
— Andrew Miller, New York Arts
The rôle of Pollux was famously sung in Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s pioneering 1972 studio recording of Castor et Pollux by the celebrated Gérard Souzay, who cast a poignant spell in his performance. New Zealand-born baritone Hadleigh Adams possesses both a stronger voice and a more extensive sense of Rameau’s musical style, however, and his Pollux sets a standard for secure, masculine singing of the part. This is a burly warrior who nonetheless wears his heart on his sleeve, and Mr. Adams’s singing of ‘Non, demeure Castor, c’est moi qui te l’ordonne,’ in which he cedes Télaïre to his brother, simmers with affection, both for Castor and for the fiancée whom he is willing to lose in order to preserve his brother’s happiness. After Castor is felled by Lincée, Pollux’s quest for vengeance is resoundingly conveyed, Mr. Adams’s performance of ‘Peuples, cessez de soupirer’ bristling with energy and testosterone. Mr. Adams launches Act Three with a beautiful account of ‘Présent des Dieux, doux charmes des humains,’ which he follows with singing of rapt involvement in ‘Ma voix, puissant maître du monde.’ Similarly effective is his voicing of the brief but marvelous ‘Tout l’Eclat de l’Olimpe est en vain ranimé,’ but the climax of the performance is the interview between Pollux and Castor in the Underworld. The sheer joy with which Mr. Adams sings ‘O moment de tendresse’ is indescribably moving
— Joseph Newsome, Voix Des Arts - CD review

Hadleigh ADAMS

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