"They say it takes two to tango,
mezzo-soprano doesn't need a partner to pull off the terrifying sensuality of one."
- composer David Garner
Crystal Philippi’s depth of color, lyricism, and embodiment of a work’s emotion and dramatic physicality have earned her critical acclaim for bringing life to the characters she portrays. Of her performance in the title role of Carmen, dbdbd NY Cultural Magazine exclaimed, “She brings a new vitality and depth of artistic interpretation into what stands in peril of degenerating into a dead art form fit only for the museum – or tomb. She is someone to be reckoned with: one who truly understands the nature of her art, and not only lives up to it, but brings something new to it.”
Also trained as an actor, expert ethnic ballroom dancer, swimmer, and clown, Crystal brings a powerful presence to the stage. In 2017, she will create the title role in a workshop presentation of Mary Pleasant: At Land’s End by David Garner. Other contemporary roles include Ishka in The Lariat, Girl in Saga of the 21st Century Girl, Svetlana Stalin in Daughter of the Red Tsar, Babyface in Happy End, and Satan in Job.
In addition to Carmen, Crystal’s traditional repertoire includes Charlotte in Werther, Mallika in Lakmé, Prince Orlofsky in Die Fledermaus, Hermia in
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Zita in Gianni Schicchi, and The Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors, among others. Equally adept in crossover repertoire, she has performed as Giulia in The Gondoliers and as Mrs. Pierce in My Fair Lady. She is proud to have performed with New Orleans Opera, Opera North, Brevard Music Center, New York Lyric Opera, First Look Sonoma, Union Avenue Opera, Center City Opera Theatre, and many organizations throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Crystal credits her hometown of New Orleans for infusing charm and soul into her work. In addition to her performing, she is also the owner of the Little Fish Ocean Swimming School in Hawaii. Crystal holds degrees from the University of New Orleans and the San Francisco Conservatory and received training from the Circus Center’s Clown Conservatory, where she was awarded a scholarship to develop her original comic opera-singing clown, Puttanesca della Trattoria. She currently resides in the Bay Area.