Monday, March 09, 2015

Hadleigh Adams Sings and Tells at Martuni's

Hadleigh Adams above is one of those rare photogenic people who are better looking in person. A baritone from New Zealand, he is currently one of the Adler Fellows at the San Francisco Opera, studying with coaches while trying to make his way up the next rung of the professional operatic ladder.

Last Wednesday, Hadleigh captivated a sold-out crowd in the back piano bar room of Martuni's on Market and Valencia. He told stories about growing up gay in conservative small-town New Zealand interspersed with songs and arias he'd performed during his journey around the world so far. Coming out stories are often maudlin and self-pitying, but Adams avoided the pitfalls with a quick sense of humor and a feel for absurdity. After mentioning that the Jewish population where he grew up was something like 0.03%, he sang a number from Fiddler on The Roof. "I was cast as Teyve in my annual high school musical, which was THE most important cultural event of the year in my hometown by far."

Adams sang beautifully and improvised off of the audience all evening, delivering a very entertaining show. He exudes an innocence and a knowingness that's a bit reminiscent of fellow Southern Hemisphere singer and movie star Hugh Jackman when he was young. There's going to be an encore performance at Martuni's at 7PM tomorrow evening, Tuesday the 10th, but it's probably sold out too. If you happen to be part of one of the house concert groups that have popped up around the Bay Area, this would be a great little show to book. You can send inquiries to the Merola Opera program at

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