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Success After Solebury School

Jonathan Tetelman '07
The Manhattan School of Music 2011
Mannes School of Music - the New School 2013

 

“The community at Solebury is really something special, unlike any other.” —Jon

 

    Jon and Chorus Director Phyllis Arnold during a visit in 2016.
    Jon returned to Solebury this fall for a performance and Q&A.

Opera singer Jon Tetelman has been around the world and back for his work as one of the industry’s most sought-after tenors. He’s performed at the Komische Oper Berlin, the English National Opera in London, Opera del Teatro Solis in Uruguay, the Fujian Grand Theatre in China, and New York City’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, to name a few. The highlight of his career so far? “Tanglewood this summer,” he said, without hesitation. Tanglewood is a renowned music festival in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts; it hosts hundreds of thousands of concert-goers every summer. At Tanglewood, Jon starred as Rodolfo in La bohème with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Back in 2003, Jon came to Solebury School from the American Boychoir School in Princeton, NJ. He felt immediately at home. For example, when he joined the chorus at Solebury, there weren’t many students enrolled that particular trimester, and Jon decided to change that. “I was also playing soccer at the time, so I recruited every guy on the team to sing in the chorus with me. We went from less than 10 to 35 kids in the chorus!” Jon said, laughing, almost still incredulous that his plan worked back then. “That’s the thing about Solebury, though — everyone’s game. You could feel comfortable throwing an idea out to anyone, even if you weren’t close friends with them. What other high school is like that?”

While he discovered his passion for singing early in life, Solebury broadened his horizons and exposed him to singing different types of music, said Jon. Solebury is also where he met a close circle of friends who still proudly support him by attending his shows when he performs nearby. And even though his current schedule leaves him seriously jet-lagged, Jon still makes time to visit his alma mater from his home base in New York City. This fall at an all-school assembly, Jon performed with a backing pianist and answered numerous questions from the audience until we ran out of time. While it’s safe to say that not many of our current students are passionate fans of opera, he brought them all (and our faculty and staff) to their feet, cheering, in a standing ovation. That's Solebury.

Watch Jon Perform

—Fall 2018

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