Described as possessing..."an assured, soothing baritone" by Jon Pareles of the New York Times, American baritone Russell Saint John's lyric voice and compelling interpretations of the solo, operatic and oratorical repertoire has brought him critical acclaim in the United States and Europe.
He has worked with some of the great conductors of our day including Zubin Mehta, Andrew Litton, Willie Waters, John DeMain, David Gilbert, Julius Williams and James Levine at the Metropolitan Opera. He has also been featured in recitals and as soloist with orchestra and many international music festivals including the Ruins of Pompeii Festival in Sicily and both the Bregenz and Salzburg Festivals in Austria.
His large repertoire is diverse, ranging from lieder, art song and spirituals to the great oratorical and major concert works of Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Mendelssohn. Operatic roles include Valentin in Faust (Gounod), Di Luna in Trovatore (Verdi), Rodrigo in Don Carlo (Verdi), Amonasro in Aida (Verdi), and the title roles in Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini) and Porgy and Bess (Gershwin).
A major exponent of new music, he actively performs the works of living composers and has given the world premieres of “Death” by Luis Andrei Cobo, and Spiritual Suite by Tonia Leon, narrated by Levar Burton and the legendary Marion Anderson. He has also been fortunate to have collaborate with Betty Allen, Richard Alston, and Grace Bumbry, and performed with some of the most distinguished artist of our day including, Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman.
This past December, Mr. Saint John performed a special program in tribute to Paul Robeson at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Mr. Saint John originated his Robeson tribute concert, a recreation of Robeson’s famed Paris concert of October 29, 1927, in the Fordham U.M.C. sanctuary in 2009. Presently, he is baritone soloist at the Fordham U.M.C. were he has served for the past ten years.