Candidate Profile

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History - Art & Culture
History - General
Travel & Destinations
Vikings & Scandinavia
Sharing her passion for cross-cultural insights is a main feature of the presentations by Lucy Hallman Russell. Born in Alabama, she attained four diplomas in piano, music history and harpsichord, with additional studies in Italian, art history, pre-history and archaeology (Universities of Montevallo, Alabama, Munich and Universities of Music Munich and Stuttgart).

After advanced studies in Germany, she has enjoyed a long career as associate professor of music and music history at the Wuerzburg Conservatory and the University of Music Wuerzburg, and in 2014 was awarded the rare Silver Pin of Honor. As a harpsichordist she has performed and taught masterclasses throughout Europe, in the USA, China and Russia.

Since 2006 Lucy Russell has been active together with her husband Ray Carson Russell as cultural historian duo for National Geographic Expeditions and Lindblad Expeditions, as well as for Princess, Sea Cloud, Hapag-Lloyd, Celebrity, Silversea. Travels to some 45 countries and speaking several languages have given this charming, captivating and stimulating speaker with a resonant singing voice a very special knowledge of all of Europe, plus Russia and China.

Lucy Hallman Russell loves nothing better than speaking to interested listeners about her familiarity with all things cultural to help them better enjoy their own individual travel experiences. And if you like, just ask her about pre-historic archaeology, finding artifacts on the fields, making stone mosaics, baking Southern biscuits or pecan pie, or the construction of music instruments!

Powerpoint Enrichment Topics by Lucy Hallman Russell


* Mozart’s Operas: What Cannot Be Spoken Must Be Sung!
When the barber Figaro outwits the Count, the Revolution has already begun, and Enlightenment is well underway in uncensored opera.
* Europe 1500: Artists and Patronage, Printing & Reformation
Generous patrons of the Italian city-states lent their support of art, music and poetry, while the printing press enabled the Reformation.
* Europe 1500: Music and Culture Know No Borders
The international exchange of musicians and artists spread the Renaissance throughout Europe, from Flanders and Burgundy to Italy, France and Germany. This Age of Discovery also opened new cultural worlds to enrich Europe with spices and foods, gold and the arts.
* Music Traditions: Bach and Handel
Two of the greatest Middle-German composers never met, but each created timeless works for organ and orchestra, church or opera. Handel travelled around Europe and lived in England, while Bach stayed in Germany.
* Mozart, Haydn & Beethoven – Emancipation of the Musician
These contemporaries attained new pinnacles for opera, string quartet and symphony, while changing the status of European musicians from servant to free artist.
* Changing Times and Tastes in the 18th c.: Public Concerts and Music Instruments for Everyone
The flourishing bourgeoisie of the 18th century craved concerts and music-making like the aristocracy, thus the rise of performances, instructional books and economical music instruments.
* Music Traditions: Brahms & Wagner
Brahms favored abstract piano and symphonic works, while Wagner gave his life to music drama as a total work of art.
* Both Piano and Forte: A Revolutionary Musical Instrument
Cristofori’s “harpsichord with piano and forte” from 1700 became the fortepiano of Mozart and the modern piano sturdy enough to withstand a recital by Liszt.
* Classical and Baroque Music Aesthetics
Which are more important for music aesthetics, rhetorical figures from poetry or order and balance from antiquity? How musical tastes changed from Bach to Beethoven.


* Glory and Love at the Court of Louis XIV
Opera themes Glory and Love were accompanied by ballet, Lully’s new disciplined orchestra and endless intrigues at Versailles, the setting for the flourishing of all the arts.
* Love and Heartbreak in Medieval French Poetry and Music
Troubadours and trouvčres, the medieval “finders” of French lyrical poetry, sing of unattainable love and paint vivid pictures of the Middle Ages. Chivalry reigns supreme.
* Gothic and Romanesque Architecture in France
A closer look at the changes from massive Romanesque churches to the Gothic pointed spires and stained-glass windows of Notre Dame in Paris.
* Marie Antoinette: A Misfortunate Queen
The Austrian princess Marie Antoinette became the extravagant Queen of France and ended on the guillotine, as did her husband King Louis XVI.
* Prehistoric Menhirs and Dolmen
Standing stones and table stones remain on the Atlantic coast of France as relics of pre-historic times and peoples, giving free rein to our imagination.


* Husband Hunting in Venice: Vivaldi’s Musical Orphan Girls
Both orphans and wealthy girls sought to woo foreign gentlemen with their musical performances in Venice under Vivaldi’s tutelage.
* Renaissance Florence: Of Bankers and Patrons, Thinkers and Artists
Renaissance Florence saw Michelangelo, Leonardo, Machiavelli and many others flourish under the rule and patronage of the Medici bankers.
* Monteverdi’s Orfeo and the Birth of Opera
Monteverdi’s Orfeo from 1607 moves us even today with its new style of expressive singing and heartrending story from antiquity. Orfeo marks the birth of opera.
* Sicily: A Cultural Melting Pot
Numerous invasions and the volcano Etna have assured Sicily a colorful, vivid and varied heritage. Normans, Romans, Arabs, Spaniards and the Mafia have left indelible marks. (Duo lecture with Ray Carson Russell)

* Malta’s Prehistoric Monuments
On Malta, a great yellow island rock with no rivers, there were prehistoric cultures which left monumental stone structures, fat lady statues and many puzzles.


* Andalusia: Mesquita of Cordoba, Alhambra of Granada
The Mesquita mosque of Cordoba was preserved with 800 horseshoe arches even when Emperor Charles V built a cathedral inside it. Though conquered by Ferdinand and Isabella, Granada still proffers the glorious Nazarid palace of the Alhambra.
* Flamenco and Guitars in Southern Spain
Stomping flamenco dancers, virtuoso guitarists and raspy voices form our image of music in Southern Spain. Their traditions and origins are well worth a closer look.
* Moorish Spain: Invasion, Tolerance and Learning
From 711 the Moors spread throughout Spain and into France, both conquering and setting examples of tolerance, culture and learning. Moorish Spain also brought toothpaste, paved streets and street lights, plus multilingual translations of the ancients.
* When Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue
Christopher Columbus struggled to set sail from southern Spain for India in 1492, but with the support of international bankers and the Spanish royals Ferdinand and Isabella, he made four memorable journeys and rediscovered the New World.
* Azulejos or Glazed Tiles
Glazed tiles stemming from the Moorish tradition came to be synonymous with architectural decoration in Southern Spain and Portugal, lending vivid blues and yellows to fountains and house walls.


* Gods and Goddesses of Olympia
Familiarity with the adventurous and amorous escapades of the 12 gods and goddesses of Olympia enables us to recognize images, as well as mythological references in literature and music. Only Apollo carries the same name in Greek and Roman mythology. But who wears a travelling hat and winged sandals?
* Homer’s Odysseus: Cunning, Shipwrecked, Bewitched
After his cunning idea of the Trojan horse brought victory to the Greeks, Odysseus’ years of wandering began. His encounters with the Cyclops, the sorceress Circe, the sea monsters Scylla and Charybdis abound in operas and plays even today.
* Music Archaeology – From Kithara to Guitar
Music instruments, theory, aesthetics and even the word music itself come from the ancient Greeks. Music archeology can help us to understand celebrations, gods and drinking symposia, as well the music of today in light of antiquity.
* Ancient Greece: Temples, Theaters and Vases
Our image of Ancient Greece is formed by temples and columns, tragedy and satyr plays in theaters, black and red-figured vases and idealized marble statues. An overview in reading these visual arts.
* Everyday Life in Ancient Greece
Women remain at home, men are off to war or out drinking, slaves tend to labor and education. From marriage to burial customs, theater to Olympic games, everyday life in Ancient Greece becomes vivid. (Duo lecture with Ray Carson Russell)


* Czar Boris Godunov in Legend, History and Music
The despotic Czar Boris Godunov was usurper of the throne and founder of the Romanov dynasty in Russia. Yet which of those often dark tales belongs to history and which to Mussorgsky’s opera?
* Swan Lake: Tchaikovsky and Russian Ballet
Tchaikovsky’s beloved ballets Swan Lake and Nutcracker were celebrated as highpoints of the great Russian ballet tradition of the 19th c., led by French ballet masters such as Marius Petipa.
* The Hanseatic Legacy: Cogs & Bricks, Salt & Herring
Through their trade in salt and herring on seaworthy cogs, wealthy Hanseatic merchants were able to finance Gothic buildings in brick, beginning in Lübeck, the Queen of the Hanse.
* Amber or Bernstein: Ancient Resin or Prehistoric Gold
Traded even to the Mediterranean, amber, the hardened resin washed ashore from the Baltic Sea, was prized more highly than gold, considered to have healing properties and gave its name to electricity.
* The German Hanse: Medieval Traders and Transmitters of Culture
The German Hanse followed the Vikings with trade dominance over three centuries in the Baltic and North Seas. A forerunner of the European Union, the Hanse proved that commerce was more powerful than language, royalty or geography.


* Vikings Ahoy! From Raiders to Rulers
The Scandinavian Vikings sailed to every corner of Europe and to America 500 years before Columbus, leaving lasting impressions with their longships, trade, audacity, bravery, ransom and law.
* Viking Arts: Dragon Ships, Silver and Stave Churches
Viking and Nordic arts from Scandinavia to Ireland and England are characterized by floral and animal designs, longships, picture stones and runes, ship-like stave churches, plus music and the Song of the Nibelungs.
* Runes of Scandinavia
Ancient picture stones with runic script are found throughout Scandinavia, especially in Sweden. They tell us of Nordic mythology and named the owners of prized handmade combs.
* Norway: Fjords, Trolls and Peer Gynt
The perpetually navigable coast and scenic fjords of Norway provide a lifeline for trade, communication, fishing and seafaring. Trolls and mythology, painters and composers (Munch, Grieg) show the simple, melodious tastes of the Norwegians.
* Norway: Codfish, Lofoten, Polar Lights
Stockfish (codfish dried on poles) and tran or fish oil from the northern Lofoten islands of Norway were long the primary sources of income. Now the spectacular scenery, never setting sun and the winter polar lights attract tourists from all over the globe.
* Norway: Lively, Rich and Green – Oslo
From the Hardanger fiddle to the Viking Oseberg ship, the modernistic opera house to the Nobel Prizes, Oslo shows the rich heritage, vivacious present and ecological standpoints of Norway.


* Harbors – Commerce – Hegemony (NL – B – GB)
These three aspects bound the trading cities in their efforts to attain wealth, power and rulership. Wool traded in London was made into cloth in Bruges and shipped to distant lands from Amsterdam and Lübeck. Europe was indeed interwoven!
* How Handel Ba-Roqued London and Dublin
Handel followed a German king to London and charmed the public with opera, water and fireworks music. Later he won everyone over with his English oratorios such as the Messiah, first performed for charity in Dublin.
* Reading the Bayeux Tapestry
The 11th c. embroidered tapestry was commissioned to tell the story of William conquering England at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Of English origin, it is now found in Bayeux on the coast of Normandy, where it shares more vivid details than many history books.
* Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of France then England
Charming and influential Eleanor of Aquitaine became Queen of France, then annulled her marriage to wed the English King Henry II. Aside from perpetual family quarrels, Eleanor is known for her political savvy and for her introduction of chivalry across Europe.
* The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
From a best-selling book to a 2018 movie, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society wins our hearts through a vivid exchange of letters about literature and romance during the German occupation of the Channel Island in WWII. (Duo lecture with Ray Carson Russell) 

Further topics on request, also tailor-made. Also available as Duo Speaker with Ray Carson Russell.
Extensive cruise lecturer experience includes the entire Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean, Black Sea, European Atlantic, Norwegian Fjords and Baltic Sea/Russia, plus the Rhine, Upper and Lower Danube. Fluent in German and Italian.
Since 2006 Lucy Russell has been active as cultural historian for National Geographic/ Lindblad Expeditions, plus Princess, Sea Cloud, Hapag-Lloyd, Silversea, Celebrity. Travels to 45 countries; passionate about cultural history, music and languages; intimate knowledge of all Europe, plus Russia and China.
Available also as Duo Speaker with Ray Carson Russell