Russell is an opera director, composer and librettist with more than twenty-five years’ experience in the sector. He began as an assistant director at English Touring Opera and Welsh National Opera but soon felt the need to start producing his own work. In 2003 he formed Opera Up Close in London in the belief that there was an audience for well-crafted unfamiliar works and he directed operas by Ullmann, Poulenc and Milhaud. In late 2017 he returned to his native Hull and formed Hull Urban Opera where he remains artistic director. His first opera, Christmas Meeting, was the company’s first production and he’ll direct his second, Mr Tilly’s Seance, based on a short story by EF Benson, in late 2021. Russell is passionate about new music and has commissioned two operas from exciting young Belgian composer Lente Verelst as well as shorter concert works from Anna Appleby, Ella Jarman-Pinto, Rose Dodd and Katie Chatburn. In 2020 he was delighted to be commissioned by Mahogany Opera Group to create the libretto for a new children’s Snappy Opera by Raymond Yiu, Teacups & Tentacles, which takes a wry look at what might happen when an alien spaceship uses Earth as a ‘hard shoulder’!
For Mahogany Opera: Teacups & Tentacles.