Raphael Crystal is a highly experienced vocal coach who can help you become a more effective singer/actor, develop your repertoire, prepare for auditions, rehearse for performances, or build a cabaret act. He is creative, inspiring, and patient - whether collaborating with upcoming new artists or established professionals. He will work with you on accuracy of pitch and rhythm, clarity of diction, breathing and phrasing, projection, performance styles for different genres and eras, and establishing a dramatic arc and subtext for a song or musical scene. He will help you find appropriate material for your voice, character type, and professional needs. He can provide lead sheets, piano/vocal scores, and band charts. He will record vocal warmups, song accompaniments, and other practice materials for you. He can also coach you on sight-singing, vocal improvisation, scat-singing, IPA, and keyboard skills.
Raphe is an award-winning composer (Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Score, KUNI-LEML), arranger (Downtown Theatre Award for Outstanding Adaptation, VAGABOND STARS), and musical director (Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival Awards for Outstanding Musical Direction, JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, THREEPENNY OPERA). As a pianist he is known for his improvisational skills in “a multitude of musical styles” (NY TIMES) and his ability to create supportive, fit-like-a-glove accompaniments. He has served as musical director for numerous off-Broadway shows, industrials, cabaret acts, and at leading regional and stock theatres (Westbury Music Fair, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Weston Playhouse, Bucks County Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park, Shakespeare and Company, etc.)
He founded – and for fourteen years directed - the acclaimed musical theatre program at the University of Alabama, and his students have shone on Broadway (HAMILTON, KINKY BOOTS, CAROUSEL, ROCK OF AGES) off-Broadway, national tours, and at regional theatres. An alumnus of the BMI/Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop, he holds a B.A. in Music from Harvard and an M.M. in Musical Composition from Ball State University. He is a proud member of Local 802, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild.
“I couldn’t have done it without Raphe’s wisdom and training.”- Scarlett Walker, recent UA grad, making her Broadway debut in CAROUSEL as ensemble member and Carrie understudy.
For a humorous take on auditioning, check out Raphe’s (music/lyrics) cabaret classic
“The Audition Song,” sung here by the inimitable Alix Korey, at: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3ae2bs3chz87itx/01%20Audition%20Song.m4a?dl=0.
You can hear Raphe in a more experimental mode at:
Raphael Crystal is available to serve as vocal coach and accompanist for musical theatre and cabaret performers. He can provide printed lead sheets, piano/vocal scores, and band charts - as well as recorded vocal warmups, song accompaniments, and other practice materials. He is also available to serve as musical director, arranger, orchestrator, and pianist.