PO Box 2052 Astoria, NY 11102
Sue Hassel The Soprano On The Bridge Logo

Singer and Artist

A Creative Life

Sue Hassel

The Soprano On The Bridge​

Sue Hassel Newspaper Headline
Sue Hassel Soprano on the Bridge

Sue Hassel Newspaper Articles on the Bridge

Painting of a Brown Cow
Sue Hassel Newspaper Headline
Sue Hassel Soprano on the Bridge

Sue Hassel Newspaper Articles on the Bridge

Painting of a Brown Cow
In Questa Reggia
Rachmaninov’s Vocalise
Et Incarnatus Est
Linda di Chamounix

Since Sue Hassel’s voice is big, the run with the purple suit was done in a small studio apartment where the window had to be opened to even get a small recording of her voice. The rest of the recordings were done in a church, which makes a big difference.

Greetings and Salutations​

Sue Hassel Queen of the Night
Sue Hassel Smiling
It has been quite a while since I even dared to create my own website, and since so much has changed since that modest beginning, I now begin anew.
I have always sung, and I come from a family that has many beautiful solo voices as members. Perhaps none were as driven to sing as I was. But I knew the very first time I sang a solo from the altar of a big church (700 members) that I was a singer and had a special talent that could go far in the world. Singing was as natural to me as breathing. And I proceeded on faith and persistence to follow my dream.
The first roadblock to my dreams came when I joined the church chorus, and since I came from a musical family, I was playing piano in local recitals. I became a very good reader, and since there were tons of high sopranos in the chorus and I read well, I was stuck in the alto section. This disastrous call was to hamper me easily 20 years since I sang off the support and forced the bottom of my voice for half of my life. At 14, I could easily sing the A-flat above high C. By the time I was in high school, I knew I was a high soprano and not an alto because of the consistent hoarseness. I ran into a voice teacher who pushed me into the spinto soprano rep, which I survived for a while and was able to fudge. I am embarrassed to say that it took me until I was 59, when I sang “The Queen of the Night” in a local production of Magic Flute, to figure out where I belonged. The voice felt wonderful. The audience loved it, and I was inspired to dig through every book that I could find on singing to figure out how it all worked. Because of my laborious journey, I am in the process of writing my third book, How to Retain a Beautiful Voice to an Advanced Age.
I have found that since I have good ears, I am able to help many singers, and I do help. I learn more about my voice as I help others and improve my own voice steadily.
I have published two books so far, Random Thoughts of a Creative Mind and In Boca di Lupo, both of which are selling worldwide.
This site will be dedicated to my journey as a coloratura soprano and hopefully will resonate with other singers who are following their rapture as I did. Perhaps I can spare them my mistakes and share with them what worked and how to find the best supportive gurus, teachers, accompanists, and normally balanced people to support them in their musical journey. Support comes in many ways: an intense conductor with good ears, a sympathetic teacher to rework the voice if needed, and other supportive musicians that, along the way on your journey, can inspire you, challenge you, and be the helping hand you need when you need it. I have found that it just works that way. If you search hard enough and remain open to everything, your common sense and a very precise tape recorder will help you figure out what works and what doesn’t. Franco Corelli (a world-famous tenor) drove everyone crazy since he recorded EVERYTHING he sang—and I mean everything. I am sure he was nearly suicidal with frustration, and he drove himself relentlessly. I know from experience that working harder, longer, and with too much intensity can set a singer back many years. So, this brief introduction will show who I am. There is one important thing to factor in here.
In NYC, I am known as the “Soprano on the 59th Street Bridge.” I have worked many straight jobs and find that the balance of working with normal people fits nicely with a singer who is as goal-centered as I am. Many of my best discoveries vocally have come as a result of biking and walking over that bridge, dancing in a ballet class with a Bolshoi Ballet Master, and cross-pollinating both skills so that the dance bleeds into singing well, and singing well bleeds well into point work and painting.

Genetic Quirks​​

I was born with an undiagnosed genetic heart problem, blocked sinuses, and a tied tongue. The tied tongue was resolved just before my debut as the Ballo Amelia (raved in Opera News) at age 27. The heart problem reared its head in 2015 midway through a solo piano recital when I suddenly fell to the floor dead! I lost several months figuring out how this could be. I came through with two machines in my chest that restart the heart when it stops. I make sure I am never really exhausted, and I get a lot of outside exercise, so that is resolved.

Artistic/Creative Bent – Painter​

I stumbled into a drawing class at the Art Students League and studied with Nicki Orbach (sadly no longer with us) for over two years. It changed and informed everything I did as a singer and as a pianist.
One caveat to all this apparent optimism: I have learned that any artist of whatever stripe must carefully balance disappointment with optimism, tears with joy, and being with people wholeheartedly to contrast the alone times. The alone times can lead to suicide attempts if pursued to extremes. Any creative artist must have real friends to contrast the alone times. It’s not that different from planting the seeds for a blooming flower and waiting for results. You must learn forbearance. The forbearance will save any truly artistic person during the lean times. Another assist here if you are inclined: keep a journal and enter your thoughts daily.

Contact me to order my music CDs or discuss my work.