© Robert Catto

Russell Harcourt

Countertenor

Management: Australasia

Website: http://www.russellharcourt.net/

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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

“…Russell Harcourt (Megabise) provided the most penetrating, steely timbre”.
Murray Black, The Australian, 4 December 2018

Giulio Cesare, Bury Court Opera March 8 2018
“… 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

"….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

Corrado Griselda
“…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

Athamas Semele
“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 from 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.

Leading role engagements in 2019 will include a return to the Göttingen Handel Festival as Evanco (Rodrigo) and his debut with Irish National Opera as Roberto in Vivaldi’s Griselda.

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, Townsville. His Royal Opera House début followed in the Crush Room in the Deloitte Ignite 2010 series.

Russell’s recent engagements include his role debut as Sesto in Handel’s Giulio Cesare for Bury Court Opera under Dane Lam, and a return to Australia for another role debut, Megabise in Hasse’s Artaxerxes for Pinchgut Opera under Erin Helyard. He also covered Rosencrantz in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for the Glyndebourne Festival & Glyndebourne Tour, David in Handel’s Saul for Glyndebourne Touring Opera, and performed the role of Pisandro Return of Ulysses for Iford Arts Festival under Christian Curnyn. For English National Opera he was engaged as Countertenor 1 (cover) in Gospel According to the Other Mary, Hunahpú (cover) Indian Queen, Narciso in Agrippina (Handel), and covered the title role in Jason (Cavalli) as well as performing in a concert tour of works by Vivaldi. Russell has also covered the role of Armindo (Partenope) for Opera Australia, appeared as soloist in Vanguard with the Australian Ballet,in Messiah under Richard Gill with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington, as well as performing the role of Andronicus in Vivaldi’s Bajazet for Pinchgut Opera.

Further 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.

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 Darclée 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: graham@artsmanagement.com.au
March 2019
   This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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