On the Couch with Sally-Anne Russell

Sally-Anne-Russell-AAR-On-the-CouchWho is Sally-Anne Russell?
Sally-Anne Russell is an Australian mezzo soprano singing on the concert platform and in operas both nationally and internationally. She is also co-artistic director of the Albury Chamber Music Festival.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I have always performed and always loved it … it was really only when Covid-19 hit that I came to realise how fragile the live performing arts are and that I might not be able to so easily do what I know and love.

Who inspires you and why?
I love people that get things done! I am surrounded by passionate do-ers – people that love what they do, to make the world a better place no matter what their industry.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Make classical music and opera as accessible as sport is in this country. Live performance – there is nothing like it!

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Anywhere where there is water and its warm and summery! I love going to new destinations. I also adore Venice and the lake regions of Italy.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I love doing CBD walking tours with the motto of don’t forget to look up! Melbourne has funky back lanes, arcades, markets, architectural delights, gardens and most excellent food to be had. For example, Gimlet, Shandong Mama Mini, Movida and roof top stops offs: Cookie, Siglo to name but a few … Cake lovers might get a trip Beatrix Cake window in North Melbourne and then the Liu Bar at Rialto Towers to watch a spectacular sunset from 55 floors up is a particular favourite!

What are you currently reading?
I’m currently exploring the poetry of Robert Browning for a set of vocal compositions by Noel Fidge which I will be recording with Hoang Pham on piano and “Colour” – A natural history of the palette by Victoria Finlay.

What are you currently listening to?
For work – a mishmash of Beethoven Symphonies/Concert arias, Corelli Harpsicord concertos, Handel and baroque arias in general and things for future programming for both the ACMF and personal projects. And non-work, eclectic things like ‘If Vulfpeck wrote Hanson’s MMMBop’ and all those wonderfully funky Scareypocket covers. I quite enjoy taking random YouTube detours down the rabbit hole of music. I never cease to be amazed by what’s out there

Happiness is?
Finding a new flower bud on a seasonal plant especially dahlias and lilacs – my fav… and I’m a bit of a sucker for a pretty sunset. Actually, anything pretty or interesting that I can photograph with my iPhone makes me happy.

What does the future hold for you?
In the immediate future: Operas including Alcina for National Opera in Canberra, and a myriad of concerts. I’m looking forward to getting back overseas once again after a couple of years of lost bookings. It will be fantastic to finally have the 2022 Albury Chamber Music Festival after several years of cancellations and postponements – 3 days of amazing music with outstanding Australian musicians, good food and wine from our sponsors at Scotchman Hill and lots of fun in general – HAPPY DAYS!

Sally-Anne is the Co-Artistic Director of the Albury Chamber Music Festival – which takes place from 4 – 6 November. For more information and full program, visit: www.alburychambermusicfestival.com.au for details.

Image: Sally-Anne Russell (supplied)