British opera company administrator Richard Gaddes was born in Wallsend, Tyne and Wear on 23 May 1942. He studied at London's Trinity College of Music and set up a lunchtime concert series at Wigmore Hall to create opportunities for young performers.
He created his own artist management company then joined Artists International Management. John Crosby invited him to become artistic administrator of Santa Fe Opera in the USA, and Gaddes began this job in 1969. He used his knowledge of the British music scene to introduce artists such as Edo de Waart, Frederica von Stade and Kiri Te Kanawa to Santa Fe.
In 1976 he co-founded the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis and was the company's general director until 1987, pushing it to international recognition for its varied repertoire, discovery of new singers and development of young artists.
Later, he returned to Santa Fe Opera and became general director (2000-2008), succeeding John Crosby. He also served on various panels and was a vice-president of Opera America.
Richard Gaddes died in New York City on 12 December 2023, aged eighty-one.