A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and native of Michigan, Philip Zawisza completed his master’s degree in 1989 at Indiana University with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. After apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Zawisza sang as a Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions finalist, won the Baltimore Opera Contest and Munich’s Radio-Symphony Voice Competition and went to Germany by way of a Fulbright Scholarship in 1992.
At the Baltimore Opera, Philip Zawisza sang with Carlo Bergonzi in L’elisir d’amore in 1993. At Lyric Opera of Chicago, Philip was seen on PBS as Eros in Barber’s Antony and Cleopatra and was heard on New World label, Weisgall’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. As Don Giovanni, Zawisza debuted at Wolftrap and with Chicago Symphony’s Youth Orchestra. Following European offers, Zawisza was awarded the distinguished Marion Anderson Prize, which led to his New York City radio debut. Accompanied by Martin Katz at the University of Michigan, Zawisza substituted for Herman Prey in an all-Schubert program in 1995.
Winner of the 1995 Amold Peterson Prize, Zawisza began his European career at the National Theater in Mannheim as a leading baritone for five seasons. Notable successes were Germont, Enrico Ashton, Wolfram von Eschenbach, Posa de Marquis, Marcello, Sharpless, Escamillo and Dr. Malatesta. In Austria, Zawisza interpreted Rossini’s Figaro, Guglielmo, Papageno, Danilo and Graf Homonay. In Bem, Switzerland, Zawisza received praise for Carlo Gerard in Andrea Chénier, Golaud in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande in 2003 and Athanael in Thaïs in 1994 in St. Gallen.
In 2004, Mr. Zawisza rescued a performance with Vienna’s RSO lead by Simone Young, in the title role of William Walton’s The Bear. He sang the world premiere of Blarr’s Jerusalem Symphony with Jun Merkl. Led by Maestro Migel Gomez-Martinez, Zawisza performed de Falla’s Atlantida in Mannheim and Orff’s Carmina burana in Madrid where he met his wife, Cecile Crozat-Zawisza. Philip Zawisza has worked with the Radio-Symphony Orchestras of Nuremberg, Frankfurt, Koblenz, Mannheim, Munich, Salzburg, Frankfurt, Basel, Innsbruck, Madrid and Vienna, sharing the stage with renown conductors such as Edo De Waart, Patrick FournilIer, Tony Pappano, Ivor Bolton and Hugh Wolf. Zawisza was a frequent guest at Vienna’s Kammer Oper, singing music of Mozart, Haydn and Handel. At Gars am Kamp, Zawisza triumphed as Nabucco in its arena festival. In 2009, Zawisza debuted with the SPCO in Berlioz’ L’enfance du Christ. At Carnegie Hall in 2010, Paul Shaw and Philip Zawisza teamed up for “Harmony for Peace” concerts. In 2012, Zawisza starred as John Proctor in The Crucible at the Piedmont Opera and recorded Britten’s War Requiem in Detmold, Germany with the University of Minnesota along with Aldridge’s The Parables for TPT. Since 2008, Philip Zawisza has been teaching voice and diction at the University of Minnesota. In New Zealand, he repeated performances of Giorgio Germont in La traviata at Hawkes Bay Opera in 2013. In 2014, Philip sang Schubert’s Die Schönemüllerin in Sundin Hall with Tim Lovelace and the Mozart Requiem with the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra in U of M’s Ted Mann Concert Hall. Philip Zawisza can also be heard on YouTube in various operatic arias.