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Biography

Bass-baritone Philip Skinner has proven himself a highly versatile artist both dramatically and vocally. He has had great success singing roles ranging from the standard bass repertoire such as King PhiIip Don Carlo, to the Dutchman Der fliegende Holländer and Scarpia Tosca in the helden and dramatic baritone repertoire. The first half of 2017 had Skinner performing the Immigration Officer in Flight with Opera Parallèle, the King in Aida with the Pacific Symphony, Casaubon in Middlemarch in Spring with Charlottesville Opera, and covering Carbon in Cyrano di Bergerac at the Met.  Later last year, he performed Claudius in Hamlet at West Edge Opera, Barone in La Traviata with San Francisco Opera, the bass solos in Dvořák's The American Flag with the San Francisco Symphony, and the King in The Little Prince with Opera Parallèle. In 2016, Skinner's appearances included Eric Gold/Ghost of Bazzetti in the West Coast premiere of Heggie’s Great Scott with San Diego Opera, the Forester in Cunning Little Vixen with West Edge Opera, the title role in Der fliegende Holländer (role debut) with LVO, Capulet in Roméo et Juliette with Madison Opera, and Judge Turpin in Sweeney Todd with Fresno and Townsend Opera. He also performed the baritone solos in Mendelssohn’s Die Erste Walpugisnacht with Chora Nova in Berkeley and the baritone solos in Rachmaninoff’s Choral Symphony The Bells with the Santa Rosa Symphony.

 

During 2015, Skinner appeared in leading roles in two world premiere operas. First, he portrayed Fray Luis in Lisa Scola Prosek’s The Lariat (Winner of the NY Center for Contemporary Opera "Atelier" Award) in San Francisco. Next, he was Casaubon in Allen Shearer’s Middlemarch in Spring (Composers, Inc./Operasmiths) also in San Francisco. Additionally that year, he played George Benton in Dead Man Walking with Opera Parallèle, Priam in Les Troyens with San Francisco Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly with Livermore Valley Opera, Dr. Schön/Jack the Ripper in Lulu with West Edge Opera, Kurtz in Heart of Darkness  with Opera Parallèle, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with West Bay Opera, and Death in Savitri with Festival Opera. He also sang the bass solos in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Santa Rosa Symphony and was the special guest soloist  in a concert with the Adler Fellows of San Francisco Opera (Skinner is an Adler Fellow alum).

 

Performances in 2014 included Alidoro in La Cenerentola with Livermore Valley Opera, Henry in Heggie’s The End of the Affair with West Edge, the Commendatore/Masetto in Don Giovanni at the Mendocino Music Festival, Sparafucile in Rigoletto with LVO, and Death in The Emporer of Atlantis with Festival Opera.

 

In 2013, Skinner’s engagements included singing the Marquis de la Force in Dialogues of the Carmelites at the Metropolitan Opera and covering Klingsor in Parsifal (also at the Met), as well as singing Wotan/Gunther in the “Mini-Ring” with Minnesota Concert Opera, Iago in Otello with Festival Opera, Scarpia in Tosca with West Bay Opera, and the Doctor in Vanessa with West Edge Opera.

In San Francisco Opera’s 2007-08 season, he performed the role of Edgar Ray Killen in the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Appomattox, as well as the Speaker in The Magic Flute and Rambaldo in La Rondine.  He spent the 2009 summer covering the Rheingold and  Walküre Wotans and the Wanderer in Siegfried for the Seattle Ring Cycle. Other engagements since then include Crespel and Luther in Les Contes D’Hoffmann with Opera Colorado and Florida Grand Opera, the Doctor in Wozzeck with Opera Parallèle, covered La Roche in Capriccio, Wotan in Das Rheingold and Die Walküre, and Dansker in Billy Budd  at the Metropolitan Opera, sang the Speaker with Seattle Opera, and Scarpia in Tosca with the Livermore Valley Opera. Highlights of other recent seasons include Ratcliffe Billy Budd with Pittsburgh Opera, Abimilech Samson with San Diego Opera, the First Soldier Salome with the National Symphony Orchestra, La Roche Capriccio and Zuniga Carmen at New York City Opera, Thibaut Joan of Arc in San Francisco, Olin Blitch Susannah in Bergen, Norway, King Philip in Dijon, France, Escamillo with Seattle Opera, and Jocanaan with Atlanta Opera. He was a regular guest with Opera de Nantes from 1995-2003 performing roles such as the Count Marriage of Figaro, King Philip, La Roche, and Hagen Götterdämmerung. He has sung Theseus A Midsummer Nights Dream with Teatro di San Carlo in Naples, Basilio Barber of Seville with Washington National Opera and Minnesota Opera, and Ramfis Aida at the Hollywood Bowl.

 

Skinner has a long association with San Francisco Opera, with over 380 performances in 55 productions there including the Water Gnome Rusalka, Mephistopheles Faust, Escamillo, Ferrando Il Trovatore, Colline, and Lorenzo I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Other roles include King Philip with Portland Opera, Colline and Ferrando with Dallas Opera, Timur Turandot, Banquo Macbeth and Ferrando with Atlanta Opera, and he has appeared with the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Los Angeles Opera. His international credits include Monterone Rigoletto with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Four Villains Les Contes D'Hoffmann with the Victoria State Opera in Melbourne, the Speaker with Vancouver Opera, and First Soldier Salome with Theatre de la Monnaie in Brussels. He also successfully performed with the Houston Grand Opera as Figaro Marriage of Figaro and the Four Villains, as well as appearances with the opera companies of Louisville, Toronto, Vancouver, Edmonton, and Massy, France.

 

Equally prolific in the concert hall, Philip Skinner has performed the Verdi Messa di Requiem at Carnegie Hall with the Masterworks Chorale and in Europe with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra. He sang Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Hollywood Bowl and with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Skinner sang the Beethoven Missa Solemnis with Kent Nagano and the Berkeley Symphony, the Lord Nelson Mass at the Spoleto Festival in Italy, and Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Haydn Creation and other concert pieces with the Dusseldorf Symphoniker, Minnesota Orchestra, among others. He was a Schwabacher Debut Recitalist and former Adler Fellow with San Francisco Opera. A graduate of Northwestern University, he received his master's degree and the prestigious Performance Certificate from Indiana University.

updated February 2018