|Year of Birth:||1954|
James Maddalena (born 1954) is an American baritone who is chiefly associated with contemporary American opera. He gained international recognition in 1987 when he created the role of Richard Nixon at the premiere of Adams's opera Nixon in China at Houston. He has since reprised the role on many occasions, and recorded it for the Nonesuch Records release of the opera in 1987. In addition to Maddelena's role as Nixon, he has created two other Adams characters: the Captain in The Death of Klinghoffer and Jack Hubbard in Doctor Atomic. He has also performed roles in the premieres of operas by Paul Moravec and Stewart Wallace among other American composers.
In addition to American opera, Maddalena has sung a broad operatic repertoire which ranges from Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, and Verdi to modern composers like Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett. He is also a concert artist whose regular performances include works by Bach, Handel and Schubert as well as those by modern composers.
Maddalena was born in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1954. He was trained at the New England Conservatory (NEC), and while a student there made his professional singing debut with the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1974. He became a member of Emmanuel Music while an NEC student, with whom he performed all of Bach's cantatas under conductor Craig Smith. In 1976 he co-founded the Liederkreis Ensemble, whose members included a quartet of vocalists with Smith as pianist. The ensemble was dedicated to performing lieder, particularly rarely heard works, and was awarded the Naumburg Award in 1980. He also actively performed with other music ensembles in New England during the 1970s, including singing in the world premiere of Robert Schumann's Requiem with the New Hampshire Sinfonietta (1975) and performances of Harrison Birtwistle's Down by the Greenwood Side with Boston Musica Viva (1978).