Manager: William G. Guerri
Management Territory: Worldwide
For this conception to work, the production needs to have singers with the ability to do comedy and to do it simply and naturally. Chief among them is Hugh Russell as Papageno, the comic sidekick to our hero, Tamino. Delivering his spoken lines with a deft comic touch, Russell also sings the part beautifully, with a solid core to his voice and an expert sense of rhythm. The many exchanges with Tamino were wonderfully funny, as is the mock death scene toward the end. Together with Andrea Nunez, a pert Papagena, Russell delivered a show-stopping performance of the famous Papageno-Papagena duet in the second act, as clever and playful as one could ever hope for. Russell never missed a comic trick, a fine performance all around. Calgary Herald
Russell embodied the role immediately, conveying deep wells of despair with his broad-barreled vocal prowess. The singer had a particular knack for drama, engaging his entire body in the varied expressions by pulling the audience into the action, engaging empathy through the surrogate experience. The Record
Hugh Russell handled the more prominent baritone solos [of Faure's "Requiem"] with admirable restraint, scaling back the operatic heft he had exhibited in the concert's opening work, Mahler's anguished song cycle "Songs of a Wayfarer." Indianapolis Star
Hugh Russell launched Adams' powerful "The Wound Dresser," a musical setting of Walt Whitman's account of his Civil War medic duties. Russell was a treat, his rich voice and excellent diction making clear the increasingly horrifying verses. Toledo Blade
Canadian baritone Hugh Russell continues to receive high praise for his charisma, dramatic energy and vocal beauty. He is widely acclaimed for his performances in the operas of Mozart and Rossini, and is regularly invited to perform with symphony orchestras throughout North America. At the center of his orchestral repertoire is Orff’s popular Carmina Burana, which Mr. Russell has performed with The Philadelphia Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Toronto Symphony, and Vancouver Symphony . . . , among others. The New Orleans Times-Picayune said, “Baritone Hugh Russell also grasped the theatrical nature of Orff’s work, nearly stealing the show with a voice that ranged from organ-deep rumbles to flute-like falsetto – and an acting style that drew roars of laughter as he captured the bullishness of an intoxicated medieval abbot.”
In the current season, Mr. Russell sings the role of Noah Joad in The Grapes of Wrath with Opera Theatre of St. Louis, and performs Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance with Palm Beach Opera. In concert, he sings Carmina Burana with the New Mexico Philharmonic and the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mineria, under the baton of Carlos Miguel Prieto. He sings The Bells with Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal, Scarpia in Tosca in concert with the Ft. Wayne Philharmonic, and Christopher Theofanidis’ oratorio The Here and Now with the Reno Philharmonic. Last season, Hugh Russell joined Calgary Opera as Papageno in The Magic Flute. Orchestral engagements included Carmina Burana with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Grand Rapids Symphony, as well as Rachmaninoff’s The Bells and with the Cincinnati Symphony.