New Third Place Winner 2014
In her second summer as a Santa Fe Opera Apprentice, Heather Phillips appeared as Katie in the 2015 world premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain. A year earlier, the soprano had covered Frasquita in Carmen and performed in the apprentice scenes showcase as Sardula (Menotti's The Last Savage) and as La Contessa (Rossini's Il Viaggio A Reims).
A native of of North Canton, Ohio, Heather received both her Bachelor and Masters degrees from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, and trained as a young artist with Cincinnati Opera, Kentucky Opera, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. She has performed with Kansas City (Elvira in L'Italiana in Algeri, Barbarina in Le nozze di Figaro), Opera Southwest in Albuquerque (Zerlina, Elvira,) Cincinnati (Barbarina, Asphodèle in L'étoile), Kentucky (Micaëla, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance, Brigitta in Iolanta, the Dew Fairy in Hansel and Gretel), Aspen (Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Crested Butte Music Festival (Musetta), Opera Theatre of Lucca, Italy (title role, Il segreto di Susannah), and the Brevard Music Festival (Belinda in Dido and Aeneas). Before her collegiate operatic studies, Heather studied and performed as a dancer, actor, pianist and flautist for twelve years.
In 2015 Heather received a Third Prize in the Gerda Lissner Foundation Competition and a Career Grant from the Licia Albanese-Puccini Foundation. She was awarded an Honorable Mention in the 2014 George London Foundation competition, an Encouragement Award from the Violetta Dupont Vocal Competition, and one of Santa Fe Opera's 2014 outstanding apprentice singer awards (the Ruth Freehoff Award given by the National Federation of Music Clubs). She also advanced as a top 10 finalist in the 2014 McCammon Vocal Competition held biannually in Fort Worth, Texas, and was a finalist and award recipient from the Kurt Weill Foundation/Lotte Lenya Competition, which recognizes singers based not only on vocal ability, but acting and versatility in the many different genres of sung theatre. In 2013 Heather received prizes from the Gerda Lissner Foundation, the Marcello Giordani Foundation, and the Irma M. Cooper Vocal Competition, and was also selected to represent the United States in the 2013 Queen Sonja International Vocal Competition in Oslo, Norway.
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