Pacific Opera Victoria's The Magic Flute, April 2009
The young Canadian baritone Hugh Russell makes his Pacific Opera Victoria debut as Papageno in The Magic Flute in April 2009.
Mr. Russell has been consistently hailed for his beautiful voice, dramatic gifts and interpretive originality. Equally distinguished as an operatic performer and as a recitalist, his 2008-2009 season includes performances of Dandini in La Cenerentola with Atlanta Opera, followed by concert performances of Carmina Burana with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony and Edmonton Symphony Society. Mr. Russell appears as Belcore in L'Elisir d'amore with Arizona Opera and as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Pacific Opera Victoria.
Mr. Russell began the 2007-2008 season singing Carmina Burana with the Toronto Symphony. He sang further performances of Carmina Burana with the Houston Symphony, and The Philadelphia Orchestra at Verizon Hall. He was heard as Guglielmo in Così fan tutte with Boston Baroque and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Arizona Opera. He also appeared with Vancouver Opera as Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri. During the summer, he sang further performances of Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Philadelphia, Saratoga Springs, and Vail. He also made his debut with the Cleveland Orchestra singing Carmina Burana at The Blossom Festival.
Hugh Russell began the 2006-2007 season singing Carmina Burana with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under Leonard Slatkin at the Hollywood Bowl with further performances of the same piece with the Indianapolis Symphony and the Louisiana Philharmonic. Additional engagements included the role of Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Atlanta Opera, and Sander in Grétry's Beauty and the Beast at Arizona Opera. Mr. Russell ended the season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a concert performance of Papageno in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte.
He has been seen in recent seasons at the New York City Opera, where he made his company debut as Figaro in Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as the Los Angeles Opera as Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos conducted by Kent Nagano. He was both an Adler Fellow and a member of the Merola Opera Program at San Francisco Opera, where he has been heard in Ariadne auf Naxos and in Messiaen's St François d'Assise. The San Francisco Classical Voice has proclaimed, He seems born for the stage. And with a lyrical voice boasting a strong and exciting top end, he is a complete performer.
As a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Center, Mr. Russell sang the roles of Malatesta in Don Pasquale, the title role in Pelléas et Mélisande, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte. Reviewing the latter performance, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review wrote, Baritone Hugh Russell was magnificent…His was also the most completely acted performance. A further triumph with this company was his performance in Dominick Argento's Postcard from Morocco.
He has also been a regular performer with the New York Festival of Song. He has sung in the Festival's recitals at Merkin Concert Hall, the Kaye Playhouse, and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and was cited by the New York Times for his lovely sound. On the orchestral concert stage, he has been heard in Carmina Burana with the Seattle and San Francisco Symphonies, in Fauré's Requiem with the Orquestra de Sevilla, and in Tobias Picker's Tres sonetos de amor with L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg, among many others.
Other recent operatic engagements have included the lead role of the Pilot in Rachel Portman's The Little Prince with Boston Lyric Opera; Valentin in Faust with Pittsburgh Opera; and Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri with Arizona Opera.
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