Russell Harcourt


Management: Australasian (Australia and New Zealand)

Rodrigo, Göttingen Händel Festspiele
“The countertenor (Russell) Harcourt is the star of the top-class ensemble. A beautiful voice, a virile stage appearance, a singer who has what it takes for a great career”. 
Zerlina von Faninals, May 27, 2019

... Russell Harcourt with his high, highly virtuosic, but darkly coloured voice is for me the ideal soprano (castrato) voice… would like to hear him as Tamerlano.

Giovanni di Tolon, Capriccio Kultur Forum, 20 May 2019

Artaserse, Pinchgut Opera

“…Russell Harcourt's voice as Megabise had a tone of penetrating edge and suppleness, befitting a character with no redeeming features”.
Peter McCallum, SMH, 30 November 2018

Giulio Cesare, Bury Court Opera
“… As her son, Sesto, Russell Harcourt looked and sounded authentically boyish, and his clear-cut linear timbre, more soprano than alto, contrasted to satisfying effect…”
Yehuda  Shapiro, Opera, May 2018

Oreste, Royal Opera, Wilton’s Music Hall
"Oreste was indisposed…her place taken by established countertenor Russell Harcourt. He’s an impressive Handelian, with a thrilling top register and assured technique."
Stephen Pritchard, The Guardian, 20 November 2016

Countertenor, Russell Harcourt is a graduate of both the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, where he is now a member of the vocal faculty, and the Royal Academy of Music (MA with Distinction in Opera Performance). During his time in London, Russell furthered his studies with Yvonne Kenny, was an Associate of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Program at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, studied part-time at the National Opera Studio, and was made an Alumnus of the Britten–Pears Young Artist Program.


In addition to returning to Pinchgut Opera to perform the role of Andronico (Giustino) Russell will also feature as Micah (Samson) with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, The Marias Project at Blackheath Chamber Music Festival and in series of concerts with the Bach Akademie Australia.  


Russell’s most recent engagements include works of Vivaldi and Bach with the Bach Akademie Australia, Haydn Nelson Mass with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, Ruggiero (Alcina) with National Opera Canberra, and Messiah with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. He has also participated in a series of concerts with Sara Macliver for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra; performed Evanco (Rodrigo) for the GÅ‘ttingen International Handel Festival; Roberto (Griselda) for Irish National Opera; Sesto (Julius Caesar) for Bury Court Opera; Megabise (Artaxerxes), Andronico (Bajazet) and Corrado (Griselda) all for Pinchgut Opera; John Adams’ Gospel According to the Other Mary at Bonn Opera; Schnittke’s Faust Cantata; Recitals with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic; Bach B minor Mass with Florilegium; Pisandro (Return of Ulysses) for Iford Arts Festival; Narciso (Agrippina) and a concert tour of works by Vivaldi, for English Touring Opera, and covering the roles of David (Saul) and Rosencrantz in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for Glyndebourne Festival & Glyndebourne on Tour. He also stepped in at short notice to perform the title role in Handel’s Oreste for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at Wilton's Music Hall.

Russell made his operatic début in 2007 as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), and his Australian concert début in 2009 as a guest artist at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. For Brisbane Baroque, Russell appeared in the role of Nerone in the Australian Premiere of the GÅ‘ttingen International Handel Festival’s production of Agrippina (for which he received a Helpmann Award nomination as Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in opera) and in concert in The Art of the Countertenor. He has also appeared as soloist in Vanguard with the Australian Ballet, and Messiah under Richard Gill with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington.


Prizes and scholarships include The Sir Robert Askin Travelling Scholarship, Tait Memorial Trust Grant, Australian Music Foundation Award, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, and an Australia Council Grant.

Russell Harcourt is managed by Graham Pushee:
February 2023
   This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
  Please contact Graham for an up-to-date biography to suit your needs.