High lyric soprano Heather Phillips, whose performances have been described by Opera News as “beautiful” and “shimmering”, is continuing to garner critical acclaim with reputable performances on the opera and concert stage.
Most recently during the 2022 season, Ms. Phillips made her professional European debut at Oper Frankfurt in Germany as the title role in Rossini's Bianca e Falliero in which the Frankfurter Allgemeiner Zeitung noted, "Der Sopranistin Heather Phillips gelingt ein famoses Debüt.” Ms. Phillips reprised her role in Bianca e Falliero for her Austrian debut at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in the Summer of 2022, also to critical acclaim. She also appeared in Austria on the concert stage with the Tiroler Festspiele Orchestra for a gala concert featuring the music of the Bel Canto repertoire of Bellini, Rossini & Donizetti. This season, Ms. Phillips will appear in concert with the Princeton Pro Musica orchestra.
Ms. Phillips has worked & performed across the United States as an operatic & concert soloist in the high lyric soprano repertoire with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Ravinia Festival, Arizona Opera, Tucson Desert Song Festival, Austin Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Cincinnati Opera, New Orleans Opera Association, Austin Symphony Orchestra, Boise Philharmonic, Oregon Music Festival, Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, True Concord Festival Orchestra, Canton Symphony Orchestra, Aspen Opera Theatre, Kentucky Opera, Opera Southwest, Brevard Music Center and the Bayview Music Festival.
Ms. Phillips can also be heard on the Grammy nominated original cast recording in the role of Katie in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, a role she created at the Santa Fe Opera that was recorded with the Pentatone Recording Label.
Continue scrolling to read her complete biography.
For the 2021-2022 season, Ms. Phillips returns to the opera stage after the pandemic shutdown to make her European debut at Oper Frankfurt in the title role of Rossini's Bianca e Falliero in a new production by director Tilmann Köhler. Ms. Phillips will also make her Austrian debut at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in the Summer of 2022 in the same production of Bianca e Falliero as well as for a gala concert featuring the music of the Bel Canto repertoire of Bellini, Rossini & Donizetti.
For the 2019 - 2020 season, Ms. Phillips joined the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra for Orff’s Carmina Burana and before the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, was scheduled to make her German debut at Oper Frankfurt in the title role of Rossini's Bianca e Falliero in a new production by director Tilmann Köhler as well as her Austrian debut in the same role at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl in the Summer of 2020.
The 2018 - 2019 season brought Ms.Phillips debuts with New Orleans Opera as Konstanze in Mozart's Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Opera Naples as Micaëla in Carmen and The Austin Symphony Orchestra as well as The Oregon Music Festival as the soloist in Brahms's Ein Deutsches Requiem. Ms. Phillips also returned to the Boise Philharmonic as soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah and The Canton Symphony Orchestra as soprano soloist in Haydn's Mass in the Time of War. In the fall of 2018, she joined the roster of the San Francisco Opera for their production of Strauss's Arabella, covering the title role.
During the 2017-2018 season, Miss Phillips debuted with Austin Lyric Opera as Micaëla in Carmen and on the concert stage, she appeared as soprano soloist in Handel's Messiah with the Boise Philharmonic, soprano soloist in Carmina Burana with both the Boise Philharmonic and the Valley Symphony Orchestra in Texas and made her New York Philharmonic debut as soprano soloist in Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy at Lincoln Center.
During the 2016-2017 season, Ms. Phillips made her Arizona Opera debut as Nannetta in Falstaff and also debuted with Opera Philadelphia reprising the role of Katie in Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain, a role she created at the Santa Fe Opera and on the Grammy nominated original cast recording. She returned to Opera Philadelphia later that same season for performances of the composer workshop series, Double Exposure. On the concert stage she appeared as the soprano soloist in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Grammy nominated ensemble True Concord and returned to the Ravinia Festival and the Tucson Desert Song Festival as a recitalist in collaboration with pianist Kevin Murphy. Other recent previous performances include Elvira in Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri at Lyric Opera of Kansas City, Micaëla in Carmen with Kentucky Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni at Opera Southwest, Musetta in La bohème at the Crested Butte Music Festival and Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro at Cincinnati Opera.
An alumna of the Santa Fe Opera apprentice program, she joined the company for their 2014 and 2015 seasons, covering Micaela in Carmen and then Gilda in Rigoletto. She also performed as a soloist in a lieder recital with Harry Bickett at the piano for the chamber music series, Performance Santa Fe. The Santa Fe Opera apprentice scenes showcase saw her as Luisa (Verdi’s Luisa Miller) and as La Contessa (Rossini’s Il Viaggio A Reims). While as a fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, she sang the role of Helena in Britten's A Midsummer Night’s Dream under the baton of Jane Glover.
Ms. Phillips has received many awards including top honors in the 2015 Gerda Lissner International Vocal Competition, the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation and the Giulio Gari International Vocal Competition. She is also the recipient of one of the Santa Fe Opera's outstanding apprentice singer awards. Also in 2014 Ms. Phillips advanced in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, winning the Connecticut district and advancing to the New England Regional Finals where she was awarded the 3rd place prize. In previous years, she has also received recognition and awards from the George London Foundation, Kurt Weill Foundation’s Lotte Lenya Competition, Marcello Giordani Foundation, Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition, Schuyler Foundation Competition for Career Bridges, National Opera Association Vocal Competition, Orpheus Vocal Competition, Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition, and the Anna Sosenko Assist Trust. In 2013 she made her Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall debut as a finalist in the Nico Castel Master Singer Competition and in the same year was selected to represent the United States as a finalist in the Queen Sonja International Vocal Competition in Oslo, Norway.
Ms. Phillips received both her Master's and Bachelor's degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music. Before her collegiate operatic studies began, Ms. Phillips trained and performed as a pianist and flautist for 10 years, performing as an adolescent with the Canton Youth Symphony Orchestra as a flautist and throughout the community as a volunteer outreach performer on piano, flute and voice with the McDowell Music Club of her hometown of Canton, Ohio.
Alongside her performance career, Ms. Phillips has worked as an arts educator. Her teaching engagements have included teaching residencies and masterclasses at the Tiroler Festspiele Erl Austria, Aspen Music Festival (high school division), ArtSmart Philadelphia and at Texas State University.