Valley Rhythms by Lola Rossi-Meza
Nicole Hannan-Jodoin re-creates her role as Lola from Cavalleria Rusticana
The International Opera Institute presents “Scenes From The World’s Four Greatest Operas – Carmen, Tosca, Madame Butterfly and Cavalleria Rusticana” featuring Nicole Hannan-Jodoin, Carrie Landsgaard, Colette Gardner, Angeline Petronijevic, Cynthia Leigh, Fabrizio Doria, Mariana Oknysky, Lauren Magnum, Mario Rehas, Josephine Romo and Mathew Edwardsen under the musical direction of Knut Erik Jensen.
The performance will be held on Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m. at the Palm Desert High School Performing Arts Center located at 74-910 Aztec Road in Palm Desert. Tickets are available for a donation of $25 or more by calling (760) 636-0008 or visiting their web-site: www.InternationalOperaInstitute.org. Artistic Director Rose Kingsley-Knight, ballerina and former Metropolitan Opera singer commented, “This is a very special concert because it is dedicated to the memory of Frank Knight, President of the International Opera Institute.”
Born and raised in Palm Desert, California, Nicole Hannan-Jodoin recalls her very first performance at the Washington Charter School. “When I was in second grade, I was chosen to sing in our school’s talent show. I sang ‘I Whistle A Happy Tune’ from The King and I.” Many people in the audience told her how much they enjoyed her singing, which struck a chord with the novice performer. With the support and encouragement of her parents, Hannan-Jodoin started vocal training at 10 years old with William Reynolds.
She now studies with Rose Kingsley of the International Opera Institute. “It is a non-profit organization and all of her students have an opportunity to perform in different outreach programs for children.” In October of 2011, she played the role of Lola in Cavalleria Rusticana at Auburn University in Alabama. Kingsley, who was teaching a Master Class, arranged to have her long-time colleague, Dr. John Robert Cart, Dean of Music at Montclair State University in New Jersey, perform the male lead role. Meeting Dr. Cart at that performance proved to be a life changing opportunity for Ms. Hannan-Jodoin. In November, the entire production of the Opera was featured at the Indian Wells Theatre at CSUSB.
She has had the opportunity not only to study with Kingsley, but with William Vendice, who was Head of the Music Staff and Chorus Master for the Los Angeles Opera from 1995 to 2007; Gregory Buchalter, currently a cover conductor at the Metropolitan Opera; Valery Ryvkin, of Opera Santa Barbara and the Greensboro Opera; and Dr. Kathleen Rowland, Professor of Voice at USC, Pepperdine University and UC Santa Barbara.
“I have always loved performing. I especially enjoy drawing people in…to get to know the character, and as an artist, I portray the different characters with my own twist. Music has been a part of my life ever since I was a little girl and I always knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It is my passion.”
Hannan-Jodoin is currently a senior at Xavier College Preparatory High School. Along with other students from the school, she has volunteered to work with the children at several homeless shelters including Shelter from the Storm. She was also a volunteer Cantor at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Indio and one of the performing artists of the Steinway Society of Riverside County and the Coachella Valley.
She was interviewed and auditioned to attend the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University several months ago and was accepted to attend this fall. She received the John J. Cali Musicianship Award, a four year scholarship, truly a blessing for this talented young lady.
When asked about her opinion regarding music in schools, her response was very similar to my own. “Taking music out of schools is horrible. I was inspired and learned music in elementary and middle school. If a music program was not there when I was in school, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Ironically, on Wednesday, April 25, Nicole Hannan-Jodoin returns to the Washington Charter School as a judge to help choose the students who will participate in this year’s talent show on Thursday, May 17.
You may contact her at NicoleJodoin2@aol.com.