For Eleen Hsu, dedication is easy – it’s apathy that’s impossible.
Her artistic palate embraces the spectrum of genres & modes. She has performed choral & choral-orchestral music, plays, musicals, opera, commercials, pop music, vocal jazz, cabaret shows, & liturgical events for over two decades. She is also a fierce educator in the vocal & dramatic arts. Eleen also seeks opportunities to combine her artistry with charitable causes.
She likes to journey to foreign lands via books and on foot. Performances inspired by famous journeys include The Fellowship of the Rings: Live in Concert (Howard Shore), The Ten Commandments (Patrick Leonard), and The Little Match Girl Passion (David Lang). Literally on the other side of the world, Eleen has also appeared – with twin sister, Jalin – on live Chinese Central Television in Beijing, China. Curiously, following a life-changing visit in gracious and beautiful Italy, she channels her “Italian Eleen" persona to get through stressful situations anywhere in the world.
For new American theatre, Eleen has proudly premiered roles in three stage works – one, as a family-dividing mother in a Japanese Internment Camp, another, as a Korean-American “Juliet" falling for “Romeo" at UC Berkeley, and a third, as a gospel soloist in an MLK, Jr.-inspired tale.
On the operatic and musical theatre stage, Eleen has sung well-meaning moms in Amahl and the Night Visitors (mother), Into the Woods (Witch), and The King and I (Lady Thiang). Also, self-important working women in The Music Man (Marian) and 9 to 5: The Musical (Roz). There's also above-the-law gals from Carmen (Mercedes) and Seussical the Musical (Sour Kangaroo).
In the wide spectrum of the vocal world, she has been a soloist for Bach's B Minor Mass and Mozart’s Requiem, and she made her professional vocal jazz debut with award-winning quintet, Down 4 the Count. You’ll hear her on the critically-acclaimed American Voices recording by the John Alexander Singers, and on Jake Heggie's “choral opera" called The Radio Hour (recordings on Delos.)
And as proof of her choral ‘nerdiness,’ she’s sung the epic Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 twice – first as a child with the Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Joel Levy, and later with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Gustavo Dudamel.
Lastly, her inner pop- and popera-lover are elated to have sung with Andrea Bocelli and Reba McEntire, both at the Hollywood Bowl.
On violin, Eleen has been a symphony and folk band instrumentalist, having toured Eastern Europe and the United States sharing both classical and Chinese folk-pop music. She played for super sexy Hawaiian superstar Keali’I Reichel at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Segerstrom Center for the Arts on his 2010 tour.
As for her teaching style, picture a cross between the gentlest kindergarten teacher and a cat dancing on a high wire - that sums up Eleen, who has directed/co-directed 10 children’s musicals.
Aside from performing, Eleen enjoys yoga, eating chocolate, and a little DIY. Eleen is originally from Cleveland, OH, and Sacramento, CA, and is a graduate of Pomona College. As an American-born Chinese, her greeting is, “All-American looks different than it used to, and that’s fine by me."