Chrystal E. Williams
Mezzo soprano
New England Second Place Winner, 2009
New England Encouragement Award, 2013




After beginning the 2015-2016 season in Philadelphia with Astral Artists in a program of chamber music scenes, Chrystal Williams was off to Norrköping, Sweden for Malher’s “Des knaben Wunderhorn.” On the mezzo’s 2016 calendar: Hänsel in Hänsel and Gretel with Knoxville Opera, and a solo recital in Portsmouth, Virginia. Last season’s highlights included her debut with Opera Philadelphia as Rebecca Parker in the world premiere of Charlie Parker's Yardbird, a new commission by Daniel Schnyder; her Birmingham Opera Company (UK) debut as Hannah in Michael Tippett’s The Ice Break; a concert in Egypt with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra; and a concert of songs with Lyric Fest and Singing City in Philadelphia.

 

A Portsmouth, Virginia native, Chrystal is a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, where she earned her Artist Diploma in Opera Performance. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Voice Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008 and a Master of Music degree in Opera Performance from Yale University School of Music in 2010. Chrystal’s most recent roles at AVA included Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Olgain Eugene Onegin, and Dulcinée in Don Quichotte. Other early leading roles included Hänsel at the Aspen Music Festival; Cherubino, Death in Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol, Anita in Massenet’s  La Navarraise, the Third Lady in Die Zauberflöte, and Charlotte in Werther, all with Yale School of Music; and the Secretary in The Consul, Lilianne La Fleur in Nine, and Bradamante in Alcina, all with Carnegie Mellon University.

 

In 2012 Chrystal made her Glimmerglass debut as Linda in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars, and in 2013 created the role of Yvette in Eric Sawyer’s The Garden of Martyrs in the world premiere performances with the Springfield Symphony. Her Sarasota Opera debut was as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia in 2014. On the concert stage, Chrystal most recently was featured as soloist in Elgar’s Sea Pictures with the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, the Verdi “Requiem” with the University of Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra, and Rossini’s “Stabat Mater” with the New Jersey Master Chorale. 

 

Chrystal received the First Place and the Audience’s Prize awards in Sweden’s 2014 Wilhelm Stenhammar International Music Competition, and was a finalist in the 2014 Giulio Gari International Music Competition. In 2013 the mezzo was a finalist in the International Belvedere Singing Competition and the Mario Lanza Competition, and a third place winner of the Liederkranz Foundation Award. In 2004 she founded The Chrystal E. Williams Scholarship Fund to help students wishing to pursue a career in the Performing Arts. This scholarship is funded in part by her annual concert, An Evening with Chrystal E., held annually in June in Norfolk, VA.

 

 

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