Sue Hassel, a Creative Life

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Sue Hassel, Soprano & Piano
at Christ & St. Stephen's Church
120 West 69th Street, New York City  10023
May 23, 2018 @ 8 p.m.  - ADMISSION FREE 

This site represents a transition to an onward developing life. I am primarily a singer.  That is what I have always been and that is what I always will be.  I am a high dramatic soprano with coloratura facility. (Think early Richard Strauss, Friedenstag, Kaiserin in Frau - and early Verdi (NOT Abigaille in Nabucco!), Lombardi Giselda, Trovatore Leonora with the original higher top notes). Please check the later sections of my website to understand why I have had a varied and checkered vocal background. I have concertized as Sue Hassel, Soprano and Piano, however with the exciting new changes, I have a partner in crime so I don't have to split my focus when I sing. Part of the charm of singing in recital is facing your audience squarely in front of the piano.  I am also a solo pianist performing in recital when I have found something so fantastic to play, that the excitement of the exploration leads me to present the latest new sonata, variation, or larger work in recital for a full evening at the keyboard.  I have survived a near fatal cardiac arrest in front of an audience (I have an inherited quirk with my heart, and I am learning how to live with it). I still work as a legal secretary in NYC.  That job is my second family.  We sold the home farm in Wisconsin and my sister, a cancer survivor, now lives with me.  It's great fun having her and her fur baby, Kendall, around.
In the the last two years I have performed an all Russian piano program, as well as a mixed recital including the Brahms C major sonata, plus another Liszt concert transcription. I finished the season with an all Chopin recital with a solid performance and a very kind audience.  One member heard about the recital 45 minutes before it started!  He was an artist and a writer, who felt moved by my playing to pen a 26 page essay as I played. I think the nicest thing said of any of my playing has been, "It's simply beautiful".  As a pianist I am a crack reader, and a bit of a hot dog. Frequently I am asked to jump in and assist at the last minute in front of large audiences. As a pianist I am restless.  There is so much repertoire to explore. This year I will devote to Liszt and Busoni. I have played the Liszt Transcendental Etudes publicly years ago, but after hearing Beresovsky play them at Carnegie, I intend to rework them again and then play them in recital again.  This will be great fun for me. 

I attach three soundbites to give you a sense of what I sound like (two of them current). Saint Sean's Nightingale and the Rose & Liszt Tristan Transcription - both are respectible practice room recordings on a quiet day on an old upright Yamaha.  (It is very touchy getting a usable internet soundbite in a small dead space - since most speakers on the usual PC amplify the lower frequencies and compress the top frequencies which any normal soprano will over-ride in a big way - so turn your volume down some on the vocal selection. If you are still not sure of what you are hearing, use earphones and you will hear what is really is going on.)  The Singer by Michael Head - unaccompanied (encore to my Liszt Transcendental Etude Recital in a large space - Note: this was 2 years into my vocal recovery - recorded by a friend in the audience at a distance of 20 feet). The last sound bite is the Romanze from Robert Diable by Meyerbeer. Another studio on a Sunday morning singing and playing simultaneously .... I have allergies so it takes some time to get going, but it's current.
I was lucky to be featured in the New York Times both online and weekend edition in April 2015.  Below the soundbites you can click on the link. 

Saint Seans

Tristan Liszt

The Singer - Michael Head

Roberto Diable Romanze

59th Street Bridge Singer - New York Times - April 2015

Here are three links you can check out.  I sell smaller artwork at:

And I write about all things artistic, musical and personal current events at:
Also check out the section of this site entitled Photos & Other Happenings for an extended article on the inception of SUE HASSEL, SOPRANO & PIANO as my most unique category of performance!!! 

In my free time, I paint and sketch.  The sunset watercolor is of a site in NYC, the chicken with little ones a painting (sumi ink and water color wash) hanging in a nursing home in Wisconsin, the access side to the Ed Koch 59th Street Bridge from Queens (one of a series of large bridge paintings), the small hen - a card illustration. 

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As time goes on I will continue to add to this site.  You may email me at:

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