The American soprano, Melanie Scafide Russell, received her B.M. in voice from Centenary College of Louisiana and an M.M. in voice from Loyola University New Orleans. She holds the Artist Diploma in Voice from Yale University/ Institute of Sacred Music (2008). She is currently engaged with the professional choir at Trinity Episcopal Church Wall Street, and has been a soloist and master-class participant in the Weill Professional Training Workshops at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Ton Koopman and Helmuth Rilling.
Melanie Russell has been a featured soloist with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and has appeared in many New Orleans area productions. Her 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, and the newly-formed Etherea Vocal Ensemble. Solo experiences include Georg Frideric Handelís Dixit Dominus, Mozartís Exsultate, Jubilate, Haydnís Lord Nelson Mass, Felix Mendelssohnís Hör mein Bitten, Igor Stravinskyís Les Noces, and Magnificat settings by J.S. Bach and F. Mendelssohn (Naxos recording now available).
Melanie Russell made her NYC debut in August 2008 with Opera Omniaís premier production of The Coronation of Poppea, for which ClassicsToday.com stated: ď[Her] creamy soprano and engaging stage presence impressed in the roles of Virtue and Damigella.Ē Upcoming performances in New York City include her solo debut at Carnegie Hall in Gabriel Fauréís Requiem with conductor Simon Carrington. She will also cover the roles (2nd Lady/2nd Witch) in the Mark Morris Dance Groupís production of Dido and Aeneas in Moscow this March (2010).
Opera roles include Adele (Die Fledermaus), The Queen of the Night/ Pamina (The Magic Flute), Mme. Goldentrill (The Impresario), and Aline (The Sorcerer). Theater credits include Disneyís Beauty and the Beast (Belle), The Music Man (Marian Paroo), The King and I (Tuptim), and Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story (Maria Elena Holly). She will add the role of Phoebe in Rousseauís The Cunning Man to her stage repertoire this Spring.
Melanie Russell resides in New York City where she is pursuing her passion for musical theater while maintaining and developing her work in classical music, including sacred/early music, musical theater, and operetta.