© Bridget Elliot
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
"….due to illness, we were treated to the countertenor voice (and very believable acting) of Australian Russell Harcourt. He showed absolutely no signs of being an understudy."
Roger Swann, Cigol, 11 November 2016
Agrippina, Brisbane Baroque
"His acting is first rate, whether libidinous lecher or sinister psycho-in-waiting, and his vocal fireworks have an appropriately hysterical edge. The highest of the evening’s three countertenors, he sings with easy confidence…”.
Clive Paget, Limelight, 9 April 2016
Bajazet, Pinchgut Opera
“…countertenor Russell Harcourt (Andronico) sang with penetrating, glint-edged clarity”.
Murray Black, The Australian, 6 July 2015
“Countertenor Russell Harcourt plays Andronico, a Greek prince also in love with Asteria, and matches Lowrey in vocal quality, but with a gentler, more youthful edge. He also gives a fair amount of depth to a rather two-dimensional lovesick character.”
Ben Neutze, The Daily Review, 27 July, 2015
“…Russell Harcourt’s role as Corrado, isn’t designed to win hearts but his performance certainly doesn’t lose any. Snappy exchanges…are vociferous and precise.”
Neville Olliffe, Early Music Association of NSW
“Harcourt however, not only possesses a beautiful voice and a fine technique, but proved himself to be one of the strongest actors in the show.”
Calvin Wells, Opera Brittania
Russell Harcourt graduated with a Bachelor of Music from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in 2007 and an MA in Opera Performance (Distinction) from the Royal Academy of Music in 2010.
Russell studied part-time at the National Opera Studio in 2010/11 and was an Associate of the Jette Parker Young Artists' Programme Royal Opera House Covent Garden since 2008. In August 2016 he was made an Alumnus of the Jette Parker Young Artists' Programme. He has performed in masterclasses for Emma Kirkby, Michael Chance, Andreas Scholl and Rosalind Plowright and is an alumnus of the Britten-Pears Young Artist Programme. Russell currently studies with Yvonne Kenny.
Russell made his operatic début in 2007 as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA). He made his Australian concert début in 2009 as a guest artist at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and his Royal Opera House début in the Crush Room in the Deloitte Ignite 2010 series.
Russell’s recent engagements include covering the role of David in Handel’s Saul for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, the roles of Pisandro Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts Festival under Christian Curnyn, Countertenor 1 (cover) Gospel According to the Other Mary for ENO, Hunahpú (cover) Indian Queen for ENO, Narciso in Agrippina (Handel), and covering the title role in Jason (Cavalli) as well as a concert tour of works by Vivaldi, all for English Touring Opera, a return to Opera Australia to cover the role of Armindo Partenope, soloist in Vanguard with the Australian Ballet and soloist in Messiah under Richard Gill with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington. In 2015 Russell returned to Pinchgut Opera to perform the role of Andronicus in Vivaldi’s Bajazet.
Russell’s 2016/2017 engagements include Schnittke Faust Cantata, Gospel According to the other Mary (Adams) at Bonn Opera, and recitals with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic, and Bach B minor mass with Florilegium. For Brisbane Baroque he appeared in the role of Nerone in the Australian Premiere of the Gottingen 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 Counter Tenor. He also stepped in to perform the title role in Oreste (Handel) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at Wilton's Music Hall.
In the 2017/2018 season Russell covers Rosencrantz in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for the Glyndebourne Festival & Glyndebourne Tour, makes his role debut as Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare for Bury Court Opera under Dane Lam and returns to Australia for his role debut as Megabise in Hasse’s Artaxerxes for Pinchgut Opera under Erin Helyard.
Russell’s roles at the Royal Academy included Athamas Semele with Sir Charles Mackerras and Volano Il Giasone under Jane Glover. Other roles include Corrado and Roberto (cover) in Griselda for Pinchgut Opera, under Erin Helyard. He has also covered Fox/Coachman The Adventures of Pinocchio for Opera North, Zelim La verità in cimento and Licida L’Olimpiade both for Garsington Opera. Russell’s oratorio experience includes alto soloist in Handel’s Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus, Israel in Egypt, Bach’s St Matthew Passion and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms.
Prizes and scholarships include Hariclea Darclee Special Award for Excellence, the Sir Robert Askin Operatic Travelling Scholarship, Tait Memorial Trust Grant, Australian Music Foundation Awards, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, Australia Council for the Arts, Skills and Arts Development Grant and the Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship. In 2008 Russell was the winner of the prestigious Dame Joan Sutherland Award, as well as the people's Choice Award at the same event and in 2012 was a finalist in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards at Wigmore Hall.
Russell Harcourt is managed by Graham Pushee: firstname.lastname@example.org
This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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