Anna Russell (born Anna Claudia Russell-Brown, 27 December 1911 18 October 2006) was a gifted English singer-comedienne-pianist-satirist-composer-parodist who made fun of {{Opera}}, Creator/GilbertAndSullivan, ClassicalMusic, {{Advertising}}, {{Jazz}}, and pretty much anything else she could get her hands on. Audiences loved it.

Some of Madame Russell's most notable routines:

* "How to Write Your Own Creator/GilbertAndSullivan Opera"
* "A Practical Banana Promotion"
* "The Decline and Fall of the Popular Song"
* "Theatre/{{The Ring of the Nibelung}}s: An Analysis"

Discographical note: most of her routines were recorded live in concert and released on short records (with bizarre names like ''Anna Russell Sings?'', ''Anna Russell in Darkest Africa'' and ''Anna Russell Sings! Again?''). All of these concert recordings are currently available collected on three [=CDs=]:[[labelnote:note]]The one major exception is her "Guide to Concert Audiences," which was released on vinyl but never made it onto CD.[[/labelnote]]

* ''The Anna Russell Album?''
* ''Anna Russell Encore?''
* ''Anna Russell Again?''

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!!Anna Russell's works display examples of:
* AffectionateParody: Her spoofs of popular and classical music varied widely in their sincerity. In "Survey of Singing from Madrigals to Modern Opera," though the parodies of madrigals and coloratura arias are too silly to be true, "Wir gehen in den Automaten" could be mistaken for a Bach cantata if the lyrics weren't about ordering bacon at the Automat, and "Aria from 'The Psychiatrist'" only sounds insane when compared with Magda's aria from ''Theatre/TheConsul'' and its repetition of the question "What is your name?"
* AntiLoveSong: "Miserable," a Torch Song parody on how awful it is to be happy ''without'' her lover and how she'd much rather be miserable (or as she renders it, "mizz-urr-ubb-ull") ''with'' him.
* BirthmarkOfDestiny: In "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera," the fat contralto character of Dandelion reveals (in song, assisted by chorus) that the rich tycoon Claude Billy Bunion was born with a mark "just like a Spanish onion" behind his ear, but being a stupid Creator/GilbertAndSullivan character she [[SwitchedAtBirth switched the bassinets]]. Such a mark is discovered on the tenor, whom the soprano can now marry instead of the patter baritone, who has to marry the contralto.
* ChristmasSongs: Lampooned with "Please Santa Claus."
* DamnedByFaintPraise: Describes Pneumonia Vanderfeller as "very ''sweet''." The tone in which this compliment is given suggests that it's [[IncorruptiblePurePureness not exactly meant as a compliment]].
* DeathByWomanScorned: "Dripping With Gore" and "Two Time Man" are (mild) parodies of this trope as used in country music.
* DiseasedName: "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" has Pneumonia Vanderfeller, a typical "British piercing-type soprano," and Claude Billy Bunion the Rich Tycoon. And then, of course, there's the heroine of "Anaemia's Death Scene."
* FateWorseThanDeath: In the classic sense.
-->''[[Theatre/TheMagicFlute (Pamina)]] thinks she's about to suffer a FateWorseThanDeath (at Monostatos' hands). [[BrutalHonesty Which she is.]] So she faints.''
* HookedUpAfterwards: "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" spoofs (along with every other G&S trope) the tendency of "the little man who sings the patter song" to end up with "the big fat contralto". Dandelion (the aforementioned "big fat contralto") even sings about it in the final number, although it appears it will come as a surprise to Claude Billy Bunion ("the little man who sings the patter song").
* IdiotHero: Siegfried in "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis."
--> And he's very young, and he's very handsome, and he's very strong, and he's very brave--and he's very '''stupid'''... he's a regular ComicStrip/LilAbner type.
* ImpoverishedPatrician: The plot of "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera" stems from how Parnassus Q. Vanderfeller has lost all his money but is "much too aristocratic to work."
* {{Jingle}}: "A Practical Banana Promotion" includes not only "Eta Banana," a parody of the Chiquita jingle, but also "Alas, What Should I Do," which sounds like just a rather mushy ballad when played the first time, but with subliminal advertising supposedly included. The song is repeated to reveal many contemporary (1950s) commercial jingles and slogans.
** Not to mention some ads that piggyback off parts of the song:
--->"For love of you/My heart is clogged with feeling/It overflows with passion--" "Phone your Roto-Rooter service man!"
* LadiesAndGerms: "Introduction to the Concert (By the Women's Club President)" begins: "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen...and others."
** Immediately followed by: "...I'm sorry, of course I know all our members are ladies and gentlemen. What I meant to say was, [[TakeThatAudience some of you have brought]] ''[[TakeThatAudience friends]]''."
* LastSecondWordSwap: In the grand-opera spoof "Anaemia's Death Scene," the dying Anaemia refers to her [[UnwantedSpouse Unwanted Fiancé]] as a "miserable old...baritone."
* LoveAtFirstSight: Russell was absolutely vicious towards this kind of storyline, e.g. between [[Theatre/DerRingDesNibelungen Siegfried and Brunhilde]], or [[Theatre/TheMagicFlute Tamino and Pamina]].
* NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer: "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis" includes what is probably the TropeCodifier.
** After mentioning that Mozart's librettist for ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'' (and the first to play Papageno) was named Emanuel Schikaneder[[note]]rhymes with "rutabaga," more or less[[/note]], she insists "I mean it!"
* OhWaitThisIsMyGroceryList: In "Introduction to the Concert (By the Women's Club President)," the speaker introduces "that magnificent pianist, Miss ... er ... Miss Hamburger."
* OldMoney: Parodied in the opening chorus of "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera."
-->''We're in the social register''\\
''(piano riff)''\\
''All lower-class types we shun''\\
''(piano riff)''\\
''But to keep our niche we must stay very rich''\\
'''Cause we'll be thrown out when we've none''\\
''And it's very very funny''\\
''When you've lots and lots of money''\\
''To be horrible to those with none''
* ParentheticalSwearing: In "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis", when Siegfried meets the Gibichungs, Russell notes that Gutrune is a Gibich and that her half-brother Hagen is a son of a Gibich, with the emphasis very much on the second syllable.
* PoirotSpeak: "Schreechenrauf," introduced as a pastiche of [[Music/RichardWagner Wagnerian]] arias for dramatic soprano, is actually a parody of the ''Ring'' cycle, with mangled Anglo-German phrases like "wir fallen in lieber" set to Music/RichardWagner's music. The aria reaches a climax when it puts down one of the characters from ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Götterdämmerung]]'' (Gutrune, daughter of Gibich) as "Gutrune, die ''Götterdämmerung'' Gibich!"
** She does the same thing with what can only be described as dog-Italian, in "Canto Dolcemente Pipo", from the opera ''La Cantatrice Squelante''.
* PorkyPigPronunciation: The Women's Club President quotes a line from "''Caelius Jusar''--I'm sorry, ''Sulius Jaesar!'' ...'''''Macbeth'''''!" (It's the famous "food of love" quote from ''Theatre/TwelfthNight''.)
* PrecisionFStrike: As detailed under SophisticatedAsHell, but there's another (relatively mild) one in her summary of ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute'':
-->''"Is that what she told you?" says the priest. "Women, huh! Well I can tell you something, you've got it all arse-backwards."''
* RuleOfFunny: Anna Russell's claim that Gutrune is the only woman Siegfried meets who isn't his aunt is actually incorrect, as Siegfried has a scene with the Rhinemaidens (the three daughters of Father Rhine) in ''Götterdämmerung''.
* RunningGag:
** In "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis", Siegfried's tendency to run into women who unbeknownst to him are his aunts.
** Also, whenever a character or plot element reappears after Wagner has gone an entire opera without mentioning them, Russell pausing to check with the audience that they still remember that character or plot element.
* SophisticatedAsHell: One of many examples: Anna states that, when one enters the world of opera, one will discover, "that the competition will be fierce. The currying favor with the impresario and the visiting conductors, and the Machiavellian plottings and plannings that go on are absolutely legendary. So to be reasonably certain of success in this field, you would need be a glorious-voiced, independently wealthy, sexy, politically motivated, backstabbing ''[[PrecisionFStrike bitch]]''."
* StandardSnippet: In "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis", when Alberich puts a curse on the Ring, she plays the standard snippet that usually accompanies a DastardlyWhiplash up to no good,[[note]]"Mysterioso Pizzicato"[[/note]] then apologizes -- "That's the wrong curse, isn't it?"
* SurpriseIncest: Spoofed in "The Ring of the Nibelungs: An Analysis."
--> "That's the beauty of grand opera: You can do ''anything''. ({{Beat}}) So long as you ''sing it''."
* TakeThat: A few, yes. "Introduction to the Concert," for example, makes it clear that "Our organization stands for the better things in art, not expecting either [[TrueArt reward or enjoyment]]."
* ThatCameOutWrong: Possibly a FreudianSlip...
-->''Of course, [introducing the concert and featured artist] is really the job of the Chair of Entertainment, but she's awfully sorry she was unable to be here this evening. She's been in bed all week with the doctor.''\\
''(waits for laughter to die down)''\\
''I think you're very unkind, she's having a horrible time!''
* TrueArtIsIncomprehensible: Her attitude towards all the Masonic symbolism in ''Theatre/TheMagicFlute''.
* VictorianNovelDisease: "Anaemia's Death Scene," naturally.
* VictoryIsBoring: Claude Billy Bunion seems to feel this way.
-->''I got mixed up in politics and found it quite delectable''\\
''I did a lot of chiseling in manners undetectable''\\
''But now I'm so conspicuous I'm forced to be respectable''\\
''It's really very dull to be a rich tycoon!''
* VocalRangeExceeded: The coloratura parodies "Canto dolciamente Pipo" and "O gentle bird with feathered breast" end with cadenzas that are obviously going to end on notes high above the staff, except that, after a few seconds of breathing (and, in the case of "Pipo", with an audible mutter of "Oh, the heck with it"), she instead sings her final note two or three octaves lower.
* WackyAmericansHaveWackyNames: In "How to Write Your Own Gilbert and Sullivan Opera", the wealthy American patriarch is named Parnassus Q. Vanderfeller.
* YouBastard: PlayedForLaughs in "The Rubens Woman": "She is dead, and who killed her? Who killed her? You killed her! ''You!"''