B I O G R A P H Y
Tenor Brandon Scott Russell is a 2018 National Semi-Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has been noted to have a “free-flowing tenor of considerable beauty and accomplishment” (Opera Today).
Recently, Russell was a participant in the 2019 Merola Opera Program where he created the role of David in Jake Heggie’s World Premiere Opera If I were you, where he “made his presence felt with his booming voice” (Parterre Box). During the Merola Opera Grand Finale he received critical acclaim for his Act 1 aria from Rusalka where his “lyric beauty of voice combined with outstanding diction” as he “filled the auditorium with ringing clarity” (San Francisco Classical Voice & Bay Area Reporter). This Fall he will be making his company and role debut as Canio in Pagliacci with Greensboro Opera.
In his 2018-2019 season, Russell made his Carnegie Hall debut with MidAmerica International singing as the Tenor Soloist in Haydn’s Mass in C Major. He was a Gerdine Young Artist with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, covering Alfredo in La traviata, Mr. Marshall in Regina, and performing in the Stars of Tomorrow Concert. He returned to Cincinnati Opera where he performed as The Teacher in Julien Bilodeau's U.S. Premiere of Another Brick in the Wall where he was “one of the evening’s standouts who wielded a big voice and stick to match” (Cincinnati Biz Journal). He made his company and role debut with Winter Opera Saint Louis as Alfred in Die Fledermaus and was a Resident Artist with Knoxville Opera performing as Edgardo in a touring production of Lucia di Lammermoor.
His 2017-2018 season consisted of multiple company and role debuts. At the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music (CCM) Russell performed as the title role in Candide and as Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi where he “displayed an exciting Italianate tenor in his aria praising Florence, with the power to soar over Puccini’s voluptuous orchestra” (Cincinnati Business Courier). During Cincinnati Opera's Summer Festival, he sang the roles of 1st armored man in Die Zauberflöte and Parpignol in La bohème (while covering the leading tenor roles of Tamino and Rodolfo). Russell debuted with Springfield Regional Opera performing the role of Cassio in their performance of Verdi's Otello.
Other notable credits include Idomeneo (Idomeneo), Alfredo (La traviata), Narraboth (Salome), and Don José (Carmen). He has had success with the MONCA where he has received three encouragement awards at the district level, three district wins moving on to the regionals, and one 1st place regional win making him a 2018 National Semi-Finalist. He received 2nd place in the 2018 National Partners For the Arts Competition and received 3rd place in the 2017 Shreveport Opera Competition.
Russell has participated across the United States in prestigious young artist programs, such as the Merola Opera Program, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, The Wolf Trap Opera Company, Cincinnati Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Houston Grand Opera’s Young Artist Vocal Academy.
Russell completed his undergraduate studies at The University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory, where he performed in the Main Stage productions of Dialogues des Carmelites (Le Chevalier), La tragédie de Carmen (Don José), and in Die lustige Witwe (Camille de Rosillon). He was a UMKC Trustees’ Scholar receiving a double degree in Vocal Performance and Music Education, graduating with summa cum laude Latin Honors.
He holds Masters and Artist Diploma degrees at the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where he studied under the tutelage of William McGraw.