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

Paintings, Pictures, and Books​

Paintings are included on this site. I began painting seriously by accident. Just before the winter holidays, I ran out of ideas for Christmas cards, and since I didn’t have the money for lavish gifts or even any fancy cards, I decided to design a card. Much of it was acceptable, but the balance was off in sections of the card. So, I scouted around NYC and ran across an advertisement for open art classes for beginners.
Years before then, I did some painting while I lived on the family farm in Wisconsin. However, I knew I was a rank beginner with a good eye. So, I presented myself to the office of the Art Students League near Carnegie Hall. Apparently, they needed bodies and had a few slots open. They were very cagy and spoke with one another, and one said, “Should we send her to Nicki Orbach?” That meeting was fated to send me in another direction artistically.
I showed up to a Sunday class with the requisite art pad, a stub of heavy black charcoal, and a kneadable eraser. I joined about 60 other artists who, overall, I thought to be reasonably expert. It was a long class—the first section lasted 10 minutes (10 1-minute drawings, etc.), and we were all supposed to draw the female model who had just moved to an elevated podium. The first thing she did was disrobe. She was beautiful physically. I wasn’t sure I could do it, but I managed. The entire class went on for hours (10 1-minute poses, 2 20-minute poses in an hour, and finally a lengthy long drawing for an hour with a male model on the podium). At 2 hours, we had a 30-minute break, and we were told to walk around the space and look at each of our classmate’s work. I wasn’t sure I would measure up, but I was astonished that my drawings stood up very well to the competition. To make a long story short, I assumed everyone drew as well as I did and probably better than me. I was hooked immediately and knew I would remain with the group and the teacher to learn as much as I could.
I studied with Nicki for 4 years. After 6 months, I showed one of my drawings in the class Christmas show. I compared well. The result was that I continued to draw in charcoal and paint in oil but was immediately in love with acrylic paints. It never occurred to me that I would be a bona fide artist, but that’s what I became. The first thing that I did after my stroke was to paint a quick watercolor as I watched Antiques Roadshow.
You will see a section on this website that shows some of my later paintings. My apartment has 25 of my paintings hanging on the walls, and they’re pretty good. I have over 30 paintings in many of my business associates’ houses. And I have shown my stuff in several juried exhibitions in NYC and Queens, as well as had several of my paintings on loan to various organizations for six months at a time. Every now and again, I pick up the brush to make sure I haven’t lost my edge. If my voice ever stops and my writing ends, I’ll pick a brush up again.
A Painting of Pink Flowers
A Painting of A Woman Carrying Books
A Painting of A White Flower

Dance and Ballet Pics

Why do I dance? My best voice teacher saw me in a eurythmics class at the UW – Madison doing a routine with classmates. She was taken with how I moved. She was keenly aware of how movement influenced her singing. So, she put me on the spot in a master class and made me sing and dance simultaneously on the stage before my classmates. The improvement of my singing was remarkable, and the voice projection much greater. The entire class noticed it, and I noticed how much easier I sang with a fuller sound and greater projection with less effort. Suffice it to say, I did not ignore this. I have found that when teaching students, if they are uptight and tense, the sound is not free. If they dance, it’s quite natural and wonderful to see and hear.

I studied ballet with Alexander Filipov at Steps. Ballet came to me when I was near a vocal crisis in NYC. I reverted to ballet because I always wanted to do it, and it was obvious that my singing was vastly better overall as a result. I went a step further and began by commuting to work via bicycle. If I had not made that leap, I would never have made the ascent to coloratura soprano. That was the key to my vocal freedom. It was the key to the present longevity of my voice (I am 75). And my singing is spontaneously free and remains so under all circumstances. For the record, I have had three cardiac arrests and a stroke and have surmounted all of that. The intricate balance of all my talents is the key to the longevity of my favorite instrument—MY SINGING VOICE.
I studied ballet with Alexander Filipov at Steps. Ballet came to me when I was near a vocal crisis in NYC. I reverted to ballet because I always wanted to do it, and it was obvious that my singing was vastly better overall as a result. I went a step further and began by commuting to work via bicycle. If I had not made that leap, I would never have made the ascent to coloratura soprano. That was the key to my vocal freedom. It was the key to the present longevity of my voice (I am 75). And my singing is spontaneously free and remains so under all circumstances. For the record, I have had three cardiac arrests and a stroke and have surmounted all of that. The intricate balance of all my talents is the key to the longevity of my favorite instrument—MY SINGING VOICE.
Sue Hassel Harem Front Battmond

Published Books​

Random Thoughts of a Creative Mind and In Boca di Lupo—both selling on Amazon and internationally.

Next Book: How to Maintain a Beautiful Voice to an Advanced Age. Outskirts Press, eventually selling on Amazon and internationally.

Hassel is available for hire to perform in concert as a recitalist, in opera (depending on repertoire and location and allergic time of year). And she also is a very find coach of singers, having taught many master classes. In terms of any interest for the above, contact Sue Hassel directly with your inquiry to sue2sing@yahoo.com  Hassel will respond with her availability, location and general tenor of the services of interest to those who contact her. Any and all fees will be agreed upon via telephone call between Hassel and individuals contracting for the service. Payment will be via personal check to Hassel (made out to Susan Hassel with a notation in the comment box on the check submitted for payment with a cover note to Hassel for her records). Snail mail is the preferred method for transactions.

Sue Hassel Closeup