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Russell Plows

is an opera director and composer with more than twenty-five years’ experience in the sector.


In late 2017 he formed Hull Urban Opera and has taken audiences on a journey that has included new work created specifically for Hull as well as opera combined with mindfulness, political satire and even a ghost tour.


He has written two operas for HUO and has commissioned work from Lente Verelst, Anna Appleby, Ella Jarman-Pinto, Rose Dodd and Katie Chatburn.

December 2019

Bumps in the Night

Immersive opera in a haunted house

brilliantly staged,
exciting and unpredictable
(audience feedback)

The Tour Guide - Sue Clark
Hull CoC Volunteers in various roles

Christmas Meeting

An opera by Russell Plows
Libretto after Rosemary Timperley
The Woman – Joanna Gamble
Frances Randell – Alex Grainger

Mandragora World Premiere

Devised by Russell Plows
Story by Rosemary Timperley
Mandragora – Betheni Conyers
The Lover – Callum Mathers

The Bar World Premiere

An opera by Lente Verelst
Libretto by Lena Vercauteren
Lucy, a Barmaid – Kimberley Raw
The Boss – Joanna Gamble
The Customer – Edward Robinson
The Kid - Arthur Butterfield

Directed by Russell Plows
Conducted by Sonia Ben-Santamaria
Set & Lighting by Joseph B Marshall
Costumes by Liz Dees
Makeup by Venice Marshall
Stage Management by Luke Dankoff

Pictured: Sue Clark as the Tour Guide

June 2019

Socrates by Erik Satie

Music & Mindfulness

captivating and beautifully crafted,
reflective and profound,
well-presented and very moving,
beautifully poised performance
(audience feedback)

A woman relates three scenes from the life of Socrates as she deals with her personal bereavement. The scenes explore shock, denial and acceptance and the audience is guided through the performance by a mindfulness leader who acts as a Greek Chorus.

Presented by Hull Urban Opera

The Woman - Poppy Shotts
Mindfulness Leader - Jim Rogers
With Caroline Blair at the piano

Directed by Russell Plows
Musical Direction by Ben Newton
Design by Liz Dees
Stage Management by Andy Ross

Pictured: Poppy Shotts as The Woman


Composer & Librettist     |     Mr Tilly’s Seance

Librettist     |     Snappy Opera (Mahogany)


Director & Composer     |     Christmas Meeting

Director     |     The Bar by Lente Verelst

Director & Translator     |     Socrates by Erik Satie

Director     |     Cruel Britannia


see more


A new Snappy Opera

I'm delighted to announce that in the next few months I'll be working as librettist with composer Raymond Yiu to produce a new opera for children as part of Mahogany Opera's programme. More details in the coming months.

Various Stages

I'm delighted to have been asked to take part in Mahogany Opera's round table on getting new operas from concept to stage at the ICA on 19 March 2020. Excellent panelists in the shape of Frederic Wake-Walker, Fay Jennett and Chair, Rhian Hutchings.


Including two operas, a chamber suite, orchestrations and translations