American tenor RUSSELL THOMAS is fast becoming one of the most sought-after artists of his generation with roles such as Don Carlo, Pollione (Norma), Manrico (Il trovatore) and Florestan (Fidelio) regularly within his repertoire. This season, Russell sings his first Otello in concert performances with the Atlanta Symphony and Robert Spano, as well as Florestan for his debut with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Hannu Lintu, Henri (Les vêpres siciliennes) at Oper Frankfurt under Stefan Soltesz, and Don Carlos at Washington National Opera under Philippe Auguin.
Russell’s recent role debuts include as Stiffelio (Oper Frankfurt), Turiddu in Cavalleria Rusticana (Deutsche Oper Berlin), and Faust (Michigan Opera), as well as house debuts at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden under Sir Antonio Pappano (Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra), Lyric Opera of Chicago (Pollione), and Canadian Opera Company under Johannes Debus (in the title role in Les contes d’Hoffmann). Further highlights include Cavaradossi in Tosca (LA Opera), Don Carlo (Deutsche Oper Berlin), Pollione (San Francisco Opera, Canadian Opera Company), and both Florestan and Manrico (Cincinatti Opera).
An alumnus of the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Program, Russell most recently returned as Ismaele (Nabucco) under James Levine – which was broadcast globally via The Met’s ‘Live in HD’ cinema series – and appears as Rodolfo (La bohème) under Alexander Soddy there this season.
Russell has enjoyed a long collaboration with renowned director Peter Sellars, notably for his debut at English National Opera as Lazarus in John Adams’ The Gospel According to the Other Mary, a role he created for the world premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, and now released on Deutsche Grammophon. Most recently, they reunited for Russell’s debut at the Salzburger Festspiele in the title role in La clemenza di Tito, conducted by Teodor Currentzis, which Russell reprises for his debut at Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam this season.
In addition to his work in the opera house, Russell is in great demand on the concert platform and recent performances include his first Loge (Das Rheingold) with the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert, Florestan with Houston Symphony Orchestra under Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Tanglewood under Andris Nelsons. Performances this season include Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Dudamel, and Verdi’s Messa da Requiem with Washington, D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra and Gianandrea Noseda. Russell also appears at Carnegie Hall in the 2017 Marilyn Horne Song Celebration. In Europe, his concert appearances have included Lazarus with Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra under Markus Stenz, the role of Erik in Der fliegende Holländer at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw under Andris Nelsons, and Donizetti’s Belisario with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Mark Elder, in which Russell was described by The Telegraph as “nothing short of sensational”; the performance was subsequently recorded and released by Opera Rara. Russell is also developing his recital work and made his Wigmore Hall debut in the Rosenblatt Recital Series.