Countertenor, Russell Harcourt is a graduate of both the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the Royal Academy of Music (MA with Distinction in Opera Performance). During his time in London, Russell furthered his studies with Yvonne Kenny, was an Associate of the Jette Parker Young Artists’ Program at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, studied part-time at the National Opera Studio, and was made an Alumnus of the Britten–Pears Young Artist Program.
Russell’s recent engagements include a series of concerts with Sara Macliver for the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra; Evanco (Rodrigo) for the Gőttingen International Handel Festival; Roberto (Griselda) for Irish National Opera; Sesto (Julius Caesar) for Bury Court Opera; Megabise (Artaxerxes), Andronico (Bajazet) and Corrado (Griselda) all for Pinchgut Opera; John Adams’ Gospel According to the Other Mary at Bonn Opera; Schnittke’s Faust Cantata; Recitals with the Lithuanian National Philharmonic; Bach B minor Mass with Florilegium; Pisandro (Return of Ulysses) for Iford Arts Festival; Narciso (Agrippina) and a concert tour of works by Vivaldi, for English Touring Opera, and covering the roles of David (Saul) and Rosencrantz in Brett Dean’s Hamlet for Glyndebourne Festival & Glyndebourne on Tour. He also stepped in at short notice to perform the title role in Handel’s Oreste for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden at Wilton’s Music Hall.
Russell made his operatic début in 2007 as Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), and his Australian concert début in 2009 as a guest artist at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. For Brisbane Baroque, Russell appeared in the role of Nerone in the Australian Premiere of the Gőttingen International Handel Festival’s production of Agrippina (for which he received a Helpmann Award nomination as Best Male Performer in a Supporting Role in opera) and in concert in The Art of the Countertenor. He has also appeared as soloist in Vanguard with the Australian Ballet, and Messiah under Richard Gill with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in Wellington.
Prizes and scholarships include The Sir Robert Askin Travelling Scholarship, Tait Memorial Trust Grant, Australian Music Foundation Award, Ian Potter Cultural Trust Grant, The Marten Bequest Travelling Scholarship, and an Australia Council Grant.