Mezzo-soprano Chrystal E. Williams has been described by leading critics as “strong and so assured”, “lithely negotiating the coloratura demands before descending into a robust low register”, and “poised, polished, in complete command of the vocal calisthenics”. Of her recent debut with the Sarasota Opera performing the role of Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia critics cited, “…the young mezzo-soprano possesses a creamy instrument with fine flexibility, throwing off a confident ‘Una voce poco fa’.”
Upcoming engagements and within the season include; a sing of the role of Publia in Rossini's Aureliano in Palmira with the Carramoor Festival and covers the role of Arsace. In 2017 she makes her London debut with Hackney Empire and ENO in the role of Rebecca that she created in Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD. Recently, she sang a concert with Norrköpings Symfoniorkester in Sweden, a debut with Washington National Opera as Elizabeth Keckley and Coretta Scott King in Philip Glass’s Appomattox; Hansel in Hänsel and Gretel with Knoxville Opera; a return to Birmingham Opera Company (UK) as Dido in Dido and Aeneas; a reprise of Rebecca Parker in Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD at The Apollo Theater in Harlem under the auspices of Opera Philadelphia; guest soloist in Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle at Smith College; a recital with Portsmouth Community Concerts.
Other recent engagements include: a concert with the Cairo Symphony Orchestra in Cairo, Egypt; debut with Opera Philadelphia as Rebecca Parker in Charlie Parker's YARDBIRD, a new commission by Daniel Schnyder;
Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia with Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan; a concert with Norrköpings Symfoniorkester in Sweden; her Birmingham Opera Company (UK) debut as Hannah in Michael Tippett’s The Ice Break with Graham Vick directing and a cover contract with Gotham Chamber Opera of Cat in El Gato con Botas. She was soloist with the New Jersey Master Chorale in Verdi's Requiem.
Ms. Williams was the recent winner of the Wilhelm Stenhammer International Music Competition for 2014 winning both First Place and Audience Choice awards and returns the for a concert appearance in 2016 withwith Norrköpings Symfoniorkester in Sweden.
In 2013 Chrystal E. Williams created the role of Yvette in the world première of Eric Sawyer’s The Garden of Martyrs; performed the role of Dulcinée in Massenet’s Don Quichotte; Olga in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin; and Linda in Kurt Weill’s Lost in the Stars in a debut with the Glimmerglass Festival. She was recently 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 MasterChorale.
Ms. Williams was one of thirteen finalists in the International Belvedere Singing Competition in 2013; a 2014 finalist in the Giulio Gari International Music Competition; a 2013 finalist in the Mario Lanza Competition; a 2013 Encouragement Award in the New England Region Finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions; a 2013 third place Liederkranz Foundation, Inc award; and a 2012 second place and Audience Favorite Award in the Giargiari Bel Canto Competition.
The Chrystal E. Williams Scholarship Fund was founded by the artist in 2004 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 annual during the month of June in Norfolk, VA.
Ms Williams is a recent graduate of the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, PA where she earned her Artist Diploma in Opera Performance. She received her Master of Music in Opera Performance from Yale University School of Music in 2010, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Voice Performance from Carnegie Mellon University in 2008.