American mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee has proven herself to be an artist of remarkable range and versatility in her performances throughout the world. International recognition came early in her career when she sang the title role in the world tour of Peter Brook's La Tragedie de Carmen. Bizet's heroine has since figured heavily in Ms. Bybee's career success, having performed the role in over 25 opera companies throughout the world. Beginning with the 2010 - 2011 academic year, she took on the directorship of New England Conservatory's Opera Studies program, in partnership with Artistic Advisor Stephen Lord.
Ms. Bybee's most recent engagements include the role of Dame Marthe in Faust with Arizona Opera, Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with the Seattle Symphony and San Antonio Symphony, Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music with the Pine Mountain Music Festival, and Wagner's Ring Cycle with Seattle Opera. In the 13-14 season, she sees performances of Fricka and Flosshilde in Minnesota Concert Society's reduced Ring Cycle, and also sings the roles of Mary in Opera Carolina's production of The Flying Dutchman and Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon with New Orleans Opera.
She made her Seattle Opera debut as Princess Maria in Prokofiev's War and Peace, in a production directed by Francesca Zambello, released on video. She has since returned as a house favorite as Mary in The Flying Dutchman, Paula in Daniel Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas, Amanda in the world premiere of Amelia, Klytämnestra in Elektra, Valkyrie in Die Walküre, Second Norn and Waltraute cover in Götterdämmerung, and (Fricka) in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.
Other appearances have included Herodias in Salome at the Arizona Opera, Orlando Opera, and Cleveland Opera, Amneris in Aida with Nashville Opera, Ulrica in Un Ballo in Maschera with Opera Memphis, the title role in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia for L'Opera de Montreal, and Dalila in Samson et Dalila with Memphis Opera.
Ms. Bybee's interpretations of Rossini characters earlier in her career garnered widespread recognition and praise. In addition to her appearances as Isabella at NYCO, she sang the role in Cologne, Dublin and at the Festival International de Santander. She made her Frankfurt Opera debut in concert performances of Tancredi and she sang the role of Falliero in the American premiere of Bianca e Falliero at the Florida Grand Opera. Ms. Bybee also enjoyed great success as Farnace in Mozart's Mitridate, Re di Ponto at the Wexford Festival and in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.
The Verdi Requiem marked Ms Bybee's debut at Carnegie Hall, with subsequent performances for Handel's Messiah with the Colorado and Houston Symphonies. She also appeared as the mezzo soloist in a Verdi Gala with the Jacksonville Symphony. She sang Bernstein's Songfest to open the season at the 92nd St. Y in New York, and again in with Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Festival. Ms. Bybee created the role of Joanna in Carly Simon's opera, Romulus Hunt, in its world premiere in New York. The production was directed by Francesca Zambello and recorded on Angel records.
Opera Carolina Performances:
The Flying Dutchman (2013–2014)