Russell is an opera director and composer with more than twenty-five years’ experience in the sector.
He began as an assistant director at English Touring Opera and Welsh National Opera but soon felt the need to start producing his own work.
In 2003 he formed Opera Up Close in London in the belief that there was an audience for well-crafted unfamiliar works and he directed operas by Ullmann, Poulenc and Milhaud.
In late 2017 he returned to his native Hull and formed Hull Urban Opera where he remains artistic director. His first opera, Christmas Meeting, was the company’s first production.
Russell is passionate about new music and has commissioned two operas from exciting young Belgian composer Lente Verelst as well as shorter concert works from Anna Appleby, Ella Jarman-Pinto, Rose Dodd and Katie Chatburn.
Chair of Trustees
As Chair of Trustees, Rick Welton brings over 50 years arts management experience at local and national levels to Hull Urban Opera. His early career included managing arts centres in Hull and Darlington, cultural development work in Milton Keynes and Liverpool, and directing national arts and training organisations. For the past 20 years he has lived and worked in Hull, his home town, where among other projects, he directed the Amy Johnson Festival in 2016 and produced the city’s popular artist decorated animal sculpture trails of Larkin Toads, Amy Johnson Moths and East Coast Puffins.
(photo by Quentin Budworth)
British Egyptian mezzo soprano Camille Maalawy has a wide ranging portfolio career encompassing performance of classical and Arabic music and contemporary opera, working with companies such as Glyndebourne, Opera North, Royal Opera House Engender Festival, Pegasus Opera and of course, Hull Urban Opera. She is also passionate about music education, with several projects that take her all over the UK. Camille is delighted to be a trustee of Hull Urban Opera as the organisation seeks to move into a new phase of creation and growth.