Friday, August 21, 2009

Jonathan Frodella

1. How did you decide to become an artist?
I always felt a strong attraction to music, but I didn't consider pursuing it as a profession until I was encouraged to do so by the faculty of the New Jersey Governor's School for the Arts. I attended the program during the summer of my junior year of high school and it was the most important factor in my decision to attend school for music.

2. What kind of work as an artist have you done so far, and what other work have you done?
While at UNCSA I performed in numerous operatic productions and even had the privilege of being the first person to sing the role of Mr. Collins in Kirk Mechem's Pride and Prejudice. I've recently set up a private voice studio in northern New Jersey.

3. How did the Kenan Fellowship contribute to your development as an artist?
The Kenan Fellowship gave me new methods for appreciating art. I really value the experiential approach to art I learned there, and I've been implementing it not only in my own appreciation of art, but in my teaching as well. The Kenan Fellowship also allowed me the opportunity to find and benefit from the instruction of some of the most respected professional artists in New York. If not for the fellowship, I never would've studied voice with the baritone Mark Oswald or had the confidence to take on some of the auditions that I sang.

4. What is the most memorable and positive experience you had as a Kenan Fellow?
Participating in some of the dance workshops was a bizarre and thrilling experience for me. It was extemporaneous and highly choreographed at the same time.

5. What was disappointing or frustrating to you about the Kenan Fellowship?
I didn't get much time in the classroom due to difficulties in scheduling. My mentor suffered a physical injury, which was a contributing factor to the loss of time.

6. What are you planning to do next in your artistic career?
I've decide to pursue a legal education. It was a very personal decision, but I believe that my experiences as a fellow will continue to enrich my life. I think that living close to great art for a long time is truly beneficial, no matter which career you ultimately choose.

7. How does your art relate to your family and community life?
Most of my family knew nothing about opera before I became seriously interested in it. Now many of them have become fans of opera, and classical music in general, and have developed strong opinions of different singers, composers, conductors, and stage directors. Also, as a voice teacher in the community I try to expose my students to great works of art that they're not likely to encounter in the public school system. I play recordings for them and recommend singer for them to research. I think that as a teacher you have more responsibility than just the training of the instrument; you have to share great art.

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