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Russell Braun


Russell Braun


Renowned for his luminous voice “capable of the most powerful explosions as well as the gentlest covered notes” (Toronto Star) baritone Russell Braun rightfully claims his place on the concert, opera and recital stages of the world. His intelligent and thoughtful portrayals of Chou En-lai, Billy Budd, Prince Andrei, Figaro, Papageno, Count Almaviva, Don Giovanni, Pelléas, Eugene Onegin, and The Traveller have captivated audiences at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, l'Oéra de Paris, the State Opera in Vienna, the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, the Los Angeles Opera, La Scala in Milan, and at the Salzburg and Glyndebourne festivals.

This season will feature two important role debuts for Mr. Braun: first as Don Alfonso in Mozart’s Così fan tutte at the Canadian Opera Company, then as Peter in Hänsel und Gretel with Michigan Opera Theatre. In concert Mr. Braun will return to the Proms in London with the baritone solo in Britten’s War Requiem, a piece he will reprise with the Atlanta Symphony and the Toronto Symphony. Other concert engagements will include Messiah with the Montreal Symphony. Another exciting project this season is the baritone’s collaboration with director Tim Albery on Hanns Eisler’s Hollywood Songbook, Hell’s Fury, which will be seen at the Luminato Festival. Future projects include a return to the Canadian Opera Company.

Last season included a return to the Salzburg Festival as Pentheus in Henze’s The Bassarids, to the Theater an der Wien for Alfred Ill in Der Besuch der alten Dame and to the Calgary Opera as Figaro in Il Barbiere di Siviglia. In concert, Russell performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Montreal Symphony, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem with the Houston Symphony, Messiah with the Grand Philharmonic Choir as well as in recital at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. 

The highlight of Russell’s 2016-2017 season was the title role of the Canadian Opera Company’s new production of Louis Riel in Toronto at the Four Seasons Centre and in Ottawa with the National Arts Centre Orchestra presented as part of the celebrations surrounding Canada’s 150th Anniversary. In an intense concert season, Russell reprised Peter Eötvös’s Senza Sangue in Rome and London, Brett Dean’s Knocking at the Hell Gate with the BBC Symphony in London, and Kaija Saariaho’s Cinque reflets aus l’amour de loin with the Radio-Sinfonieorchester in both Stuttgart and Freiburg. He also performed Carmina Burana with the Montreal Symphony, Fauré’s Requiem and Brahms’s Four Serious Songs with the Toronto Symphony at Roy Thomson Hall, Elijah with Chorus Niagara, and Handel’s Messiah with the Nashville Symphony.

Recent seasons have included performances of Brahms’s Vier Ernste Gesänge arranged by Detlev Glanert and Fauré’s Requiem with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Vaughn Williams’s A Sea Symphony with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, reprisals of Peter Eötvös’s Senza Sangue in Bergen (Norway) and Göteberg (Sweden), a work he premiered in May 2015 with the New York Philharmonic in Cologne and New York, his role debut as Pentheus in Hans Werner Henze’s The Bassarids with the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma and appearances as Count Almaviva in the COC production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro.
Other highlights include debuts as Ford in Falstaff, as the Duke of Nottingham in Roberto Devereux and as Conte di Luna in Il Trovatore, all with the Canadian Opera Company, as Chou En-lai in John Adams’s Nixon in China and as Olivier alongside Renée Fleming in Capriccio, both at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He has appeared in the title role of Don Giovanni, in Iphigénie en Tauride and l’Amour de Loin, also with the COC, as Lescaut in Manon at La Scala and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he also appeared in a new production of Faust.

His discography features the GRAMMY-nominated Das Lied von der Erde (Dorian), JUNO winners Mozart Arie e duetti (CBC) and Apollo e Daphne, and JUNO nomineeWinterreise (CBC). His most recent release is Dietch’s Le Vaisseau Fantôme with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble on the Naïve label. Â DVDs include the Salzburg Festival’s Romeo et Juliette and the Mark Morris dance adaptation of Dido and Aeneas, his much-lauded portrayal of Chou En-lai in Adams’s Nixon in China (Nonesuch) and his performance as Olivier in Capriccio (Decca) at the Metropolitan Opera (released on DVD as part of the company’s Live-in-HD series) and Alexina Louie’s comic opera Burnt Toast.