DePaul University School of Music > Faculty & Staff > Faculty A-Z > Jo Rodenburg

Jo Rodenburg

Mezzo Soprano Jo Rodenburg's career in music spans more than 35 years with performances in opera, oratorio and song literature from Early Baroque to Contemporary and Avant Guard.  Her early musical studies were piano, music theory and violin.  She continued her studies at Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Britten Pears School of Advanced Musical Studies. Her voice teachers and coaches include Margaret Harshaw, Margaret Hoswell,  Phyllis Bryn-Julsson, Eric Weimer, Richard Boldry, Timothy Schaindlin, Marc Verzatt and John Wustman.

Rodenburg's affinity for German song literature featuring songs by Johannes Brahms and Richard Strauss was showcased in a concert tour of northern Germany where critics described her voice as "warm, lustrous and heart-rendingly beautiful."  In concert with the Saint Petersburg Boys' choir one critic deemed Rodenburg "a genuine Russian contralto."  In Chicago, Ms. Rodenburg appeared as Eduige in the 2010 Handel Week production of "Rodelinda" in which her singing was characterized by the Chicago Tribune by  its "big, dark also-ish mezzo."  Also in Chicago, Rodenburg was the featured soloist along with David Byrne of Talking Heads at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra premiere of Byrne's  "The Forest," as well as soloist under conductors Sir George Solti, Margaret Hillis in works of Corigliano, Verdi and Pergolesi. In New York, Rodenburg had the distinct pleasure of sharing the stage with Jose Ferrer in a pairing of Stravinsky's "A Soldiers Tale" and "Pierrot Lunaire" on a Metropolitan Opera concert series under the auspices of Richard Woitach.

Ms. Rodenburg lists among her operatic credits the roles of Carmen, Orlofsky, Dorabella, Charlotte, Hansel, Cherubino. Rodenburg is also very active as a guest artist on the concert stage and her repertoire includes numerous works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, Haydn, Brahms as well as Elgar's , Mahler's "Knabenwunderhorn" and Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky, a performance that the DuBuque Herald described as "Phenomenal...gorgeous and bravely edged."

As an educator and fellow vocal artist, Ms. Rodenburg is passionate about sharing her knowledge as a singer and musician with the emerging singer who may be in the process of "discovering" his or her voice and the many colors and range of emotion the human voice can portray.  She has enjoyed working with singers who use their voice professionally in both opera and music theater, and her students are performing in nearly every theater in Chicago as soloists and choristers at Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Light Opera, Music of the Baroque and theaters all around the United States and Europe.