Sally-Anne Russell


Management: Australasia

Messiah, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra 

“Sally-Anne Russell....whose musical communication is exemplary. Her superb combination of vocal technique and emotional range was on display thoughout, reaching its climax in a heartrending account of 'He was despised'."

Tony Way, The Age, December 2021 

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Adelaide Festival

“When the claws come out and Hermia and Helena face off at the end of Act II, Russell gives a wonderfully animated performance as she snarls and claws at her rival and the two men have to carry her off.”

Jansson J. Antmann, Limelight, February 2021

Belshazzar, Handel, Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus

“…mezzo-soprano Sally-Anne Russell, in another pants role, that of Cyrus, the conquering Prince of Persia. Steadfast and full-blooded, she dominated the stage and delivered beautifully ornamented da capo moments”.

Vincent Plush, Limelight Magazine, November 2017

The Barber of Seville, Melbourne Opera

“…One aspect of this production that was indisputably in line with Rossini’s intentions was among its highlights: Sally-    Anne Russell’s Rosina. A full, warm tone throughout from bottom to top and neatly executed coloratura passages were invested with a musical ease and lightness of touch essential to the character. Her vivacity and wicked sense of humour also had the power to delight and charm the audience as well as her suitors”.  

Heather Leviston, Classic Melbourne, July 2015

“Sally-Anne Russell is one of Australia’s current operatic and oratorio stars. She gave the character of Rosina believable determination, and her beautiful mezzo soprano was all that could be desired”.

Rob Holdsworth, The Australian Book Review, 2015

“Mezzo-soprano Russell is in delightful form as dear Rosina, conveying the comedy with a twinkle in her eye and singing with a golden, expressive tone”.

Simon Parris, 2015

“Known as much for her Baroque virtuosity as for her Bel Canto interpretations, Sally-Anne Russell’s fleet coloratura and comic timing make her an ideal Rosina”  

Samuel Krum, Stage Whispers, 2015

"Sally-Anne Russell in a deeply moving performance of Brahms' Alto Rhapsody in which she injected long legato lines with expressive intensity and lovely dramatic colour. She exhibits a striking presence on stage that matches the authority of her performance".

Lyn Bronson, Peninsula Reviews, July 18, 2010

Carmel Bach Festival: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio

“The vocal soloists…were splendid. I particularly enjoyed the timbre of Ms. Russell’s lush mezzo.”

Reg Huston, Peninsula Reviews, July 19, 2009

One of Australia’s finest mezzo sopranos, Sally-Anne Russell has over sixty operatic roles in her repertoire and has sung in fifteen countries including the United States, Austria, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, New Zealand, Japan and Canada. As a principal guest artist, she has sung with Opera Australia, all the State Opera companies and all of the major Australian symphony orchestras. Sally-Anne’s many CDs and DVDs include her solo operatic disc Enchanting, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater (winner of the 2005 ARIA Listeners Choice), Bach Arias and Duets (ARIA Nominated), Mozart’s Requiem, Don John Of Austria, Top 100 ABC Concert Gala, Opera Australia’s Golden Jubilee/50th Anniversary DVD (ABC Classics), Prokofiev’s Love for Three Oranges (CHANDOS) and The No 1 Classical Album 2007 and 2009 (DECCA). 


2022 sees Sally-Anne return to Sydney Philharmonia Choirs for Mozart Requiem, to Melbourne Bach Choir for St. Matthew Passion, to Adelaide Symphony for Beethoven Symphony No. 9, to Victorian Opera for Elektra (Handmaid) and to Melbourne Opera for Die Walküre (Rossweise). Sally-Anne will also make her debut with National Opera Canberra in the role of Bradamante (Alcina) and continue in her position as the co-artistic director of the Albury Chamber Music Festival.  


Most recently Sally-Anne has been heard as Hermia in Adelaide Festival’s production of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; in Song of the Earth at the Canberra International Music Festival; Messiah with Melbourne Symphony; Organs of the Ballarat Goldfields Festival for the St. Mark Passion; Beethoven’s “Ah! Perfido” and in recital. She was also scheduled to perform with Melbourne Bach Choir for St. John Passion, Hobart Festival of Voices for Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Adelaide Symphony for Beethoven Symphony No. 9, the role of Micah (Samson) for the St George’s Cathedral, Perth concert series and feature as a guest artist with The Song Company, in a special project titled “Arms of Love”.


Sally-Anne has also been heard with Melbourne Symphony and New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for Messiah, Bruckner Mass in D minor with Auckland Choral Society, St Matthew Passion with the Royal School of Music, at the annual Baroque concerts series Vivaldi in the Vines, Mozart Coronation Mass with Victoria Chorale Tasmanian Symphony for Mozart Requiem and arias, Artsong Perth for a recital with Sarah Macliver, Stonnington’s Opera in the Park, Mass in Time of War and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9  with Monash Academy Orchestra, Mozart’s Litaniae with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, St John Passion with West Australian Symphony Orchestra, St Matthew Passion with Melbourne Bach Choir and B Minor Mass in Ballarat as well as many recitals. She also sang the role of Nancy Tang in Nixon In China for New Zealand Festival and performed in Voyage to the Moon, a baroque pastiche written and directed by Michael Gow, for Musica Viva and Victorian Opera, for which she received a Helpmann Award Nomination as Best Female Performer in a Supporting Role in opera.


Sally-Anne’s 2017/18 engagements included Mozart Requiem and Bach Cantata with Melbourne Bach Choir, Rossini Stabat Mater with Monash Academy Orchestra, a baroque opera gala at the Peninsula Summer Music Festival, B Minor Mass and St Matthew Passion with Sydney Philharmonia, Mozart Requiem with Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Society, Beethoven 9 with Christchurch Symphony Orchestra, Stefano in Romeo and Juliet and Mercedes (Carmen) both in concert with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Opera in the Aboretum, Belshazzar with Adelaide Philharmonia Chorus, Esther with Handel in the Theatre, Canberra; Mozart Requiem, Beethoven Mass in C, Brahms Alto Rhapsody and Haydn Nelson Mass with Victoria Chorale and numerous recitals.


Other notable engagements include Nancy Tang in Nixon in China (Victorian Opera), Mozart Requiem (Edward Gardner conducting), Beethoven Symphony no. 9 (Sir Andrew Davis conducting) and Messiah (Melbourne Symphony Orchestra), Messiah ( Queensland Symphony, Sydney Philharmonia Choirs, and Christchurch City Choir), Haydn, Harmoniemesse, Beethoven Symphony No. 9, and Mahler's Songs of the Wayfarer and 4th Symphony  (Tasmanian Symphony, also with Orchestra Victoria),  the world premiere of a new symphony by Ross Harris (and recording on the Naxos label) with Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Falstaff (West Australian Opera), Viva Verdi concerts (Victorian Opera), La Sonnambula, Tales of Hoffmann and Orpheus in the Underworld (State Opera of South Australia), Carmen (Opera Queensland), Das Rheingold (Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra), Beethoven Symphony No.9 and Mary in The Flying Dutchman (Sydney Symphony),  Bernstein’s Mass at Adelaide Festival, Mozart’s Requiem and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Adelaide Symphony), St John Passion and St. Matthew Passions in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide, Bach’s B minor Mass, recitals in Canberra and Adelaide, Dido and Aeneas, Les nuits d’été, concerts for Brisbane Festival, Musica Viva, Australian String Quartet, Coriole Festival, Port Fairy Spring Festival, Opera In The Vineyards, the World Premiere of Nootka and Bacalov’s Misa Tango in Canada, a ninth season at the Carmel Bach Festival in California and recitals in Perth, Tasmania, at the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Art Gallery of NSW. 


Her operatic roles include Isabella (L’Italiana in Algeri), Angelina (La Cenerentola), Rosina (Il Barbiere di Siviglia), Jo (Little Women - Australian Premiere), Cherubino (Le Nozze di Figaro), Dorabella (Così fan Tutte), Bradamante (Alcina), Sesto (Guilio Cesare), Mallika (Lakmé), Suzuki (Madama Butterfly) and Hansel (Hansel and Gretel). 


A graduate of the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Music Performance, and former member of the Victoria State Opera Young Artist Program Sally-Anne has won many prizes and awards at competitions including the Australian Singing Competition, Herald Sun Aria, Covent Garden Scholarship, Adelaide Aria, National Liederfest, Canberra Aria, The Royal Overseas League in London and The Belvedere International Singing Competition in Vienna. She has been nominated for both Young Australian of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year (Arts). 


Sally-Anne Russell is managed by Graham Pushee:
   February 2022
   This biography is for general information purposes only and not for publication.
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