Currently based in Australia, Italian-Australian soprano Cristina Russo has established an international career spanning opera, theatre, concert and film. She is also an emerging composer.
After graduating from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music, Cristina won the Acclaim Italian Opera Fellowship Study Award, which allowed her the opportunity to live in Italy and work with some of the finest opera singers in the world, including Luciana Serra and Mirella Freni.
Upon returning to Melbourne, Cristina became young artist with Victorian Opera, for whom she performed and covered the roles of Violetta (La Traviata), Elvira (I Puritani), Noémie, Fairy Godmother (Cendrillon), Gretel (Hansel and Gretel), Billie (The Riders, Iain Grandage), Johanna (Sweeney Todd) and Beatrice Brittle/Cat (The Pied Piper, Richard Mills). She has also completed a Master of Music (Opera Performance) at the University of Melbourne on full scholarship.
Equally at home in baroque concert and oratorio repertoire, Cristina is a frequent collaborator with early music ensemble La Compañia, and has appeared as a soloist in Bach’s St Matthew Passion, Bach Magnificat, Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor (K.626), Mendelssohn’s St Paul, Vivaldi Mass RV 588, Fauré’s Requiem and Zelenka’s ZWV 12 Missa Divi Xaverii.
Cristina is becoming equally sought after for her work as a composer. Her breakthrough co-composition with Johnny Klimek for Chinese feature Lord of Shanghai (dir. Sherwood Hu) with the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra (con. Kristjan Järvi) won the award for Best Song at last year’s Macau International Film Festival. She has also co-wrote and recorded vocals for upcoming German television series Babylon Berlin (directed by Tom Tykwer).
She regularly workshops and performs new stage, film, and concert works, collaborating with composers and musicians from across the industry. Recent projects include Seven Deadly Sins with cabaret sensation Meow Meow, Remembrance (Richard Mills) with Victorian Opera and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, a workshop of a new work written by Paul Grabowsky and Steve Vizard, Banquet of Secrets, and a concert collaboration with rock musician Mike Noga (The Drones) and the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart.
Other awards and achievements include being the recipient of a scholarship to study at the Lisa Gasteen National Opera School, winner of the Armstead Singing Award, grant recipient of Opus 50 Trust, finalist in the Royal Melbourne Philharmonic Aria Competition, semi-finalist in the Australian Singing Competition, the Herald Sun Aria and finalist in the 3MBS Performer of the Year.
Highlights of 2017 include making her debut with State Opera of South Australia covering the role of Merab in the acclaimed Glyndebourne production of Handel’s Saul directed by Barrie Kosky and performing the role of Chocholka in Victorian Opera’s production of Cunning Little Vixen.