Canadian baritone Hugh Russell continues to receive high praise for his charisma, dramatic energy and vocal beauty. He is widely acclaimed for his performances in the operas of Mozart and Rossini, and is regularly invited to perform with symphony orchestras throughout North America. At the center of his orchestral repertoire is Orff's popular Carmina Burana, which Mr. Russell has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony, among others. In the current season, Mr. Russell will be heard in performances of Carmina Burana with the Indianapolis Symphony and new Music Director Krzysztof Urbanski, National Symphony with Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Milwaukee Symphony and Andreas Delfs, and Houston Symphony with Music Director Hans Graf. He appears with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony with Music Director Edwin Outwater in a season opening Gala, and returns later for performances of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. He returns to the Vancouver Symphony for concerts with Music Director Bramwell Tovey of Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem and Songs of a Wayfarer. He adds John Adams' The Wound-Dresser in performances with the Toledo Symphony and will be heard in the title role of The Barber of Seville with Opera Hamilton.
During the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Russell made his UK debut as Virginio in Mercadante's Virginia at the Wexford Festival. He joined Edo de Waart and the Milwaukee Symphony for performances of Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony and sang Papageno in his debut with Manitoba Opera. Additional performances included Carmina Burana with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Vail and at his alma mater, the Oberlin Conservatory. Mr. Russell began the 2009-2010 season as Lescaut in performances of Massenet's Manon for Angers-Nantes Opéra. He returned to Atlanta Opera as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte and was heard in concert performances of Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer and Fauré's Requiem with Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Carmina Burana with Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra and Sarasota Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Russell began the 2008-2009 season as Dandini in La Cenerentola with Atlanta Opera. He was also heard as Belcore in L'elisir d'amore with Arizona Opera, and made his role debut as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Pacific Opera Victoria and Orchestra London. He continued his success as baritone soloist in Carmina Burana with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Leonard Slatkin and with Pittsburgh Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Edmonton Symphony, New Mexico Symphony and National Symphony Orchestra.
Mr. Russell has been seen at the New York City Opera, where he made his company debut singing the title role in Il barbiere di Siviglia, as well as the Los Angeles Opera, where he sang 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 was heard in Ariadne auf Naxos and in Messiaen's St François d'Assise.
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, a role he has also performed with Boston Baroque. 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 and 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; Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri with Vancouver Opera; Valentin in Faust with Pittsburgh Opera; and Taddeo in L'italiana in Algeri and Eisenstein in Die Fledermaus with Arizona Opera.