Melanie Russell, Class of 2002
New Orleans area native Melanie Russell made her NYC debut in August 2008 with Opera Omnia’s premiere production, The Coronation of Poppea, for which ClassicsToday.com stated: “Her creamy soprano and engaging stage presence impressed in the roles of Virtue and Damigella.” The Wall Street Journal also took note of her “steely sparkle” and “almost impossibly fast, clean runs” in Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Wall Street.
She made her solo debut at Carnegie Hall in April 2010 (Fauré’s Requiem) and covered the roles of 2nd Lady & 2nd Witch in the Mark Morris Dance Group’s production of Dido and Aeneas in Moscow and New York. Other notable solo appearances include Bach’s Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen (BWV 51) at St. Paul’s Chapel in NYC, Handel’s Dixit Dominus and Israel in Egypt (Musica Omnia), Mozart’s Exsultate, Jubilate and Requiem, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Mendelssohn’s Hör mein Bitten, Stravinsky’s Les Noces, and Magnificat settings by Bach and Mendelssohn (Naxos).
In addition to her solo work, Melanie’s fifteen years of choral and chamber music experience have culminated in performances with the Oregon Bach Festival Choir, Santa Fe Desert Chorale, Yale Schola Cantorum, Yale Voxtet, Etherea, Seraphic Fire, Conspirare, and the Trinity Wall Street Choir.
Opera roles include Phoebe (The Cunning Man), Adele (Die Fledermaus), The Queen of the Night/ Pamina (The Magic Flute), Mme. Goldentrill (The Impresario), and Aline (The Sorcerer). Theater credits include Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Belle), The Music Man (Marian Paroo), The King and I (Tuptim), and Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story (Maria Elena Holly).
Melanie holds the Artist Diploma in Voice from Yale University/ Institute of Sacred Music, as well as performance degrees from Loyola University New Orleans and Centenary College of Louisiana with a minor in French. She is currently engaged with the professional choir at Trinity Episcopal Church Wall Street and continues to tour with Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s Einstein on the Beach. She resides in Astoria, New York.