James Maddalena 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.