BiographyNina Russi's debut as stage director took place in 2013 at the Zurich Opera with Il faut s'aimer, a scenic collage on Mozart's early work La finta semplice extended with arias and ensembles from belcanto via Britten to Poulenc, on the final evening of the International Opera Studio.
A year later followed the successful staging of the contemporary children's opera Die Gänsemagd by the Berlin composer Iris ter Schiphorst for the opening of the 2014/2015 season on the studio stage of the Zurich Opera. At the Salzburg Festival Nina Russi realised Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream as well as Mozart's Die Zauberflöte as a participative project, followed by directing works at the Theater Winterthur and the Konzert Theater Bern, where she brought the world premiere of the family opera Reise nach Tripiti onto the stage. In 2016, Nina Russi returned to the Zurich Opera with a production of contemporary opera Gold! by Leonard Evers.
A widely acclaimed premiere followed in the season 2017/18 also at the Zurich Opera with the chamber opera Der Traum von Dir by Swiss composer Xavier Dayer after the novel "Letter from an Unknown Woman" by Stefan Zweig.
For Leonard Bernstein's anniversary year 2018/2019, Nina Russi staged Bernstein's celebrated operas A Quiet Place and Trouble in Tahiti as a double evening at the Theater Aachen. For this production she will receive the “Götz-Friedrich-Prize 2019”. Furthermore, she realised a semi-staged performance of Bellini’s La Sonnambula at this house.
The premiere of her new production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s fantasy opera Coraline takes place at Zurich Opera’s main stage in November 2019.
Nina Russi has held scholarships in several international theatre programmes: International Summer Arts Program, Watermill, New York, under the artistic direction of Robert Wilson, European Academy of Music & Performing Arts in Montepulciano with Prof. Dr. Michael Hampe, Directors’ Lab at Lincoln Theater Center, New York, International Forum at the Berliner Theatertreffen, as well as Scholarship holder of the Bayreuth Festival through the Swiss Richard Wagner Society. The Residency for a stage director of the enoa Institution (European Network of Opera Academies) brought her to the Teatr Wielki Warsaw (Polish National Opera), under the artistic direction of Mariusz Trelinski, as well as to the Festival D'Aix-en-Provence, where Bernard Foccroulle was her mentor. In summer 2019, she participated in the Woman Opera Makers Workshop at Festival d’Aix-en-Provence led by Katie Mitchell.
Beside the “Götz-Friedrich-Prize 2019”, Nina Russi received a grant for the creation of theatre works from the Aargauer Kuratorium (Switzerland). At present, she is a semifinalist of RING AWARD 2020 in Graz.
Nina Russi is resident director and assistant director at the Zurich Opera. In more than 30 new productions she collaborated with directors such as Calixto Bieito, Robert Carsen, Robert Wilson, Hans Neuenfels, Harry Kupfer, David Pountney, Graham Vick, Andreas Homoki, Matthias Hartmann, Sven-Eric Bechtolf, Jens-Daniel Herzog, Grischa Asagaroff, Tatjana Gürbaca and Barrie Kosky.
Further collaborations with the directors Peter Mussbach, Sebastian Baumgarten, Laurent Pelly and Marco Arturo Marelli took her to the international opera houses in Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna. Alongside the Oscar winner Maximilian Schell, she supervised the operetta Wiener Blut at the Seefestspiele Mörbisch, Austria.
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"Götz-Friedrich-Preis 2019" & "Coraline" at Zurich OperaWe are delighted to announce that Swiss director, Nina Russi, has joined our General Management! On November 7, she will receive the prestigious “Götz-Friedrich-Preis” hosted by the German Opera Conference in Stuttgart for her Bernstein project “Trouble in Tahiti / A Quiet Place” at Theater Aachen.
Furthermore, we are looking forward to the premiere of the new production of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Coraline at Zurich Opera’s main stage on the 16th of November. This work will be performed in Switzerland for the first time:
Nina Russi’s work is characterized by differentiated psychological figure’s design, and energetic as well as highly visual realizations. Her focus lies on stripping down highly complex and individual behavioral patterns as well as social constellations – always with the goal of telling a story that appeals to today’s audience.
Photo: Wenwei Zhang
Photo: Wenwei ZhangAward of the "Götz-Friedrich-Prize" 2019
Photo: Bernhard Weis Videos
"A Quiet Place" // Theater Aachen
"Trouble in Tahiti" // Theater Aachen
"Der Traum von dir" // Zurich Opera
"Gold!" // Zurich Opera
"Die Gänsemagd" // Zurich Opera
Trouble in Tahiti & A Quiet Place / Theater Aachen / 16.02.19 / deropernfreund.de
"gelingt eine so unglaublich feingliedrige und auf den Punkt gebrachte Inszenierung, dass man dem dramatischen Geschehen auf der Bühne gebannt folgt"
Trouble in Tahiti & A Quiet Place / Theater Aachen / 11.02.19 / die-deutsche-bühne.de
"Russis Inszenierung lebt von der Personenführung und einem außergewöhnlichen Detailreichtum, der sich aber nie vor die Geschichte stellt, sondern sie ausdifferenziert und bereichert"
Trouble in Tahiti & A Quiet Place / Theater Aachen / 10.02.19 / onlinemerker.com
"Mit solchen Querverbindungen, die mitunter ganz schön ans Herz greifen, bietet Nina Russi eine ganz, ganz große Regiearbeit"