Born in Michigan, Philip Zawisza completed his Master's Degree in 1989 at Indiana University with Nicola Rossi-Lemeni. Following apprenticeships with the Santa Fe Opera and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, in 1992, Zawisza was a MET finalist, won the Baltimore Opera Competition and Munich's Radio-Symphony Voice Contest.
In the US, Philip sang with Carlo Bergonzi in Donizetti's "L'Elisir d'Amore" in 1993 in Baltimore. From the Lyric Opera of Chicago he can be seen as Eros on video doing Barber’s “Antony and Cleopatra” and has recorded on New World, Hugo Weisgall’s “Six Characters in Search of an Author.” With the Wolftrap Opera, Philip sang Don Giovanni. He was awarded the Marion Anderson Prize in 1993, which led to his Radio debut in New York City. Philip replaced Herman Prey in 1997 for Schubert's "Schwanengesang" with Martin Katz at the University of Michigan.
Winner of the 1995 Arnold 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, Escamillo and Sharpless. Austrians would know Philip for his interpretations of Rossini’s
Figaro, Guglielmo, Papageno, Danilo, Doctor Malatesta and Graf Homonay. Zawisza received critical acclaim for his debuts as Carlo Gerard in “Andrea Chenier”, Golaud in Debussy's “Pelleas et Melisande” and Athanael in Massenet’s “Thais.”
In 2004, Zawisza rescued a performance with Vienna's Radio-Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simone Young, singing the title role of William Walton's The Bear. He recorded the world-premier of Blarr's “Jerusalem Symphony” with Jun Merkl. He did Orff's “Carmina Burana” and de Falla's “Atlantida” with Migel Gomez-Martinez.
Philip has sung with Ivor Bolton, Patrick Fourniller, Doug Boyd, Howard Arman, Kevin Rhodes, Dorian Wilson, Mark Russel Smith and Kathy Romey. He has sung diverse repertoire from Bach to Bernstein with the Radio-Symphony Orchestras of Nuremburg, Frankfurt, Koblenz, Mannheim, Munich, Salzburg, Frankfurt, Madrid and Vienna.
In 2006-7, Zawisza premiered in Vienna, Mozart's "L'oca del Cairo" as Don Pippo, Gil in ”Il Segreto di Susanna” and Claudio in Handels’ “Agrippina”. At Gars am Camp, Zawisza debuted as Nabucco at their outdoor arena festival. Zawisza has sung many recitals in Europe and the US. In 2008, he sang the McCullough’s “Holocaust Cantata” in Minneapolis with John DeHaan, as well as operatic recitals in Minnesota, Nevada and California.
Philip has sung the National Anthem as well as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the University of Minnesota where he is currently teaching. In September 2009, Zawisza debuted with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in the role of the Father in Berlioz’s, “L’Enfance du Christ.” In February he’ll perform Schubert’s “Winterreise” with Paul Shaw and in April, Noriko Kawai accompanies Philip in Liszt songs and Schumann’s “Dichterliebe”. A sample of Philip Zawisza’s baritone arias can be heard on You Tube.
Philip used his talent as a baritone to contribute to the 2010 Peace Concert by singing a few selections.