Benjamin Russell, Baritone
Benjamin Russell is a member of the ensemble of the Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden, Germany. He studied at the International Opera Studio of the Zurich Opera House, Switzerland after having received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin in 2011 and 2012 respectively. There he studied singing with Sylvia O'Regan and coach Brenda Hurley.
This year he performs, among others, the roles of Malatesta in Don Pasquale, Maximilian in Candide and Schaunard in La Bohème in Wiesbaden. He is also scheduled to sing the roles of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro and Papageno in Die Zauberflote among others for the 2016/17 season.
Previous to this he performed various parts on the main stage of the Zurich Opera House while part of the International Opera Studio, among them Abraham Gray in the premier of Die Schatzinsel by Frank Schwemmer and the Jazz Trio in Bernstein’s Trouble in Tahiti. He also performed the role of Antippo in the IOS production of Telemann’s Der Geduldige Sokrates.
In June 2011 he sang Junius in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia at the Aldeburgh Festival which was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and, in January 2012, Athamus in the RIAM production of Handel's Semele.
He has also performed in many concerts, both at home and abroad, including Lunchtime concerts in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, recitals of Schumann's Dichterliebe and Liederkreis Op.39 in the City Hall, Hong Kong and several concerts in The Netherlands organised by the IVC.
Competition successes include finalist in the Veronica Dunne International Singing competition 2010, where he also received the Joan Sutherland prize for 'Most Promising Singer'. He was a semifinalist and prizewinner in the 2010 International Vocal Competition in s'Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands. He was also winner of the RIAM Irené Sandford Award for Singers and winner of numerous prizes in the national Feis Ceoil, Dublin.
He has sung in masterclass with Thomas Allen, Ann Murray, Graham Johnson, Elly Ameling, Rudolf Jansen, Brigitte Fassbender, Christoph Pregardien, Malcolm Martineau, Dawn Upshaw, Kayo Iwama, Wolfgang Holzmair, Luana de Vol, Robert White, Ian Partridge, Michael Elaison and Umberto Chiummo among others.
He was a member of the Opera Theatre Company Young Associate Artists' Programme 2010-11 and a student on various courses of the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme as part of the Aldebugh Festival, Suffolk. In July 2008, he participated in the international Opera Plus singing course in Estoril and the next year was invited to the Montalto Musica summer course where he worked on and sang Malatesta in Donizetti's Don Pasquale.