Rondi's second CD, "Love Is The Thing" is the culmination of a lifetime of making and experiencing music of all kinds. Supported by some of today's leading jazz musicians, Rondi's musicality, passion and spirit transport the listener to a new and yet familiar place. While wholly immersing herself in the jazz idiom, Rondi embraces her background in classical music and theater.
For all her accomplishments and impressive breadth of repertoire, Rondi's strength lies in her innate ability to connect deeply with her material and communicate that intimacy to the listener. Her talent is for capturing the emotional essence of whatever style of music she performs.
As Will Crutchfield of the New York Times wrote of her at age 23, after her very first classical recital at Weill Recital Hall, "Rondi Charleston is in tune with herself and her material, and is a joy to hear. She works her way into her listener's hearts and her emotional range is wide." That was the beginning of her professional career as a singer.
Upon graduating from Juilliard, where she was the only person to ever be enrolled in both the drama and the music departments, it became clear that American music was Rondi's calling and she was immediately booked by chamber music groups and American Opera houses. She sang regularly with Steven Blier & Michael Barrett's innovative New York Festival of Song, premiering the "Songs of Innocents," by noted composer Aaron J. Kernis. She sang with the Aspen Music Festival, Chicago Opera Theater, Houston Grand Opera's Texas Opera Theater, Dallas/Ft Worth Opera, The Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, The 92nd Street Y Lyrics & Lyricists series, and New York City Opera. Paulette Haupt cast her in the title role in the American opera "Amarantha" by Roger Ames, which she performed with Timothy Nolen at Lake George Opera. She also originated the role of Mary in the opera version of "The Secret Garden" at New Dramatists in New York and in Philadelphia at Pennsylvania Opera Theater.
Breaking from the constraints of her classical training, in 2001 Rondi recorded her first album, "Love Letters". This is a compilation of American popular songs inspired by the best selling book of historical love letters by Michelle Lovric. A critical and commercial success, "Love Letters" was named one of the top 10 CDs by Cabaret Scenes/Chicago Tribune writer Jeffrey Rossen who wrote that Rondi uses "her lush and wonderfully emotive voice to create one of the most romantic album in recent memory".
Raised in Chicago, and surrounded by an extraordinary family of musicians, it was almost pre-ordained that Rondi go into the family business. Mother Elsa was a soprano soloist known internationally for her interpretations of contemporary composers such as Ralph Shapey, Lucas Foss, Milton Babbitt and numerous others, which she performed with major symphony orchestras around the world. Father Rolf is an avowed jazz aficionado and historian, who introduced Rondi & brother Erik to Miles Davis and Duke Ellington (literally!) at an early age. He is currently classical music host on WFLN Public Radio in Philadelphia. Erik is a percussionist with the New York Philharmonic. He has also worked with Wynton Marsalis, Fred Hersch, Dave Brubeck, Sting and Elton John, and on numerous film soundtracks and Broadway shows.
Leading up to and since the recording of "Love is the Thing," Rondi has spent extensive time working with jazz vocal coach Peter Eldridge (of New York Voices) who nurtured her talent and encouraged her to take the plunge into the world of jazz. Never one to go in unprepared, Rondi also has been studying jazz theory with Garry Dial in Manhattan.
Rondi currently lives just outside of New York City in Westport, Connecticut with her husband Steve and 6-year-old daughter Emma.