Jonathan Hodel, tenor
Since deciding to focus my vocal energy on dramatic opera, my voice has solidified and become comfortable with the repertoire. When I performed Siegfried in late 2016, I ended up having to do back to back performances of the difficult work on two different weekends, a feat I didn’t think would be possible for me several years back. Now, I have even been played around with Tristan, and with the blessing of a new mentor.
After singing Siegfried, I began looking for the next step in my vocal training. Unfortunately, most of my mentors were now gone and I didn’t know anyone I could trust, especially when it comes to singing Wagner’s operas. Although my technique was strong, I needed guidance in this repertoire. That was when I came across the perfect opportunity. After applying in early 2017, I was accepted into a weeklong masterclass in June with Heldentenor, Siegfried Jerusalem. It has been a pleasure working with him as he has performed all the great dramatic German roles, and at the highest level. He has been tough on me, something that I desperately need, but he has given me the confidence to sing these works. Even if I am unable to get back out to sing more in the future, watching him teach and listening to his constructive criticism of my own technique is something I hope to pass on to my students. I was fortunate to work with him a second time in May of 2018, and with several of the same singers present, several of whom have become good friends. It has been fun working with a great tenor, having worked with a great bass for so many years.
As I spend much of my time in Colorado helping take care of my now 90-year-old father, I look for ways to stay active. If you follow me on Facebook, you may already be aware that I spend a good deal of time training for a yearly triathlon. In the last five years, I have competed in four, three Sprints and one Olympic triathlon. A Sprint triathlon includes a 750 meter swim, 12.5 miles of biking and a five kilometer run. An Olympic triathlon is double that. My next goal, which may not happen, is a half-Iron Man which includes a 1.2 mile swim (no problem), 56 miles of biking (which makes my rear end hurt) and a half marathon (the hardest part for me). Anyway, I figure all the exercise is good for my lungs, helps me maintain my figure and gives me more stamina for the stage. For more info on this part of my life, friend me on Facebook with the link provided below.
Finally, I wanted to spend a few moments writing about my new-website. During my Indiana University days, I took a mini course on website fundamentals which inspired me to build my first basic website (around 1998). After building my website, I frequently updated my What’s Up! page because I had software that helped me create what I wanted you to see. Sadly, because of updating computers, new operating systems, being forced to buy newer and often more complicated software, and even the advent of Facebook (which wasn’t even a thing when I started this endeavor) which is where one usually goes these days to spill their recent activities, my What’s Up! page has often been neglected. Although I think of myself as computer savvy, I had sadly lost the ease and joy of updating my website effectively. Fast forward to 2018…Apple is upgrading their operating system from 32-bit to 64-bit and is once again forcing users to purchase new software just to keep up. But for the first time, this is actually a plus for my website. After searching around for a new alternative, I purchased a wonderful application called Sparkle Web Design which has simplified the entire website design process. It has given me so many new possibilities that I just love interacting with it. If you have a Mac and need to build or design websites, I highly recommend it! Hopefully, this purchase will mean new stories for you, more often, and in more creative ways. Enjoy!