Based in Australia, Italian-Australian soprano Cristina Russo has established an international career spanning opera, concert and film.
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 Valeria Esposito, 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), Beatrice Brittle/Cat (The Pied Piper, Richard Mills) and Chocholka (Cunning Little Vixen). She has also completed a Master of Music (Opera Performance) at the University of Melbourne on full scholarship.
Other performance highlights include covering the role of Merab in Glyndebourne Opera’s critically acclaimed production of Handel’s Saul (dir. Barrie Kosky) at the 2017 Adelaide Festival with State Opera of South Australia and Adelaide Symphony Orchestra.
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), Orff’s Carmina Burana, Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater, Mendelssohn’s St Paul, Vivaldi Mass RV 588, Haydn’s Creation, Fauré’s Requiem and Zelenka’s ZWV 12 Missa Divi Xaverii.
While her training is in opera, Cristina champions new music and thrives on blurring the boundaries between new and old.
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.
Working regularly in partnership with acclaimed film composer Johnny Klimek (Run, Lola, Run), Cristina co-wrote and performed for Chinese feature Lord of Shanghai with the Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Kristjan Järvi. She and Johnny were proud to accept the award for Best Song at the Macau International Film Festival Awards in 2016.
She has also recorded vocals for hit German television series Babylon Berlin (directed by Tom Tykwer). The series is the most successful German television export in history: it has been signed globally to Netflix and currently screens in over 60 countries including the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.