American mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee has proven herself to be an artist of remarkable range and versatility in her performances throughout the world in a wide variety of repertoire. 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 taken her to the opera companies of Hawaii, Tulsa, Memphis, Dayton, Shreveport, Chautauqua, Dublin, and as her debut, to New York City Opera, the same year in which New York City Opera audiences also heard her as Isabella in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri. She joined the Metropolitan Opera roster the following season.
Upcoming engagements for the 2006-2007 Season and beyond include her debut as Amneris in Aida with Nashville Opera, Opera Carolina, Seattle Opera and Portland Opera, as well as Herodias in Salome with Cleveland Opera, and a return to the Seattle Opera as Mary in The Flying Dutchman. Most recently, Ms. Bybee include two new roles to her repertoire, Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera with Opera Memphis and the title role in Britten's The Rape of Lucretia for L'Opera de Montreal, as well as Herodias in Salome with Orlando Opera, Emilia in Otello with New Orleans Opera, Dalila in Samson et Dalila with Memphis Opera, Paula in Daniel Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas with Seattle Opera and participation in their 2005 Ring cycle.
Ms. Bybee's interpretations of Rossini characters have garnered widespread recognition and praise. In addition to her appearances as Isabella at NYCO, she has sung 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 Mitriade, Re di Ponto at the Wexford Festival and in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. 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.
The Verdi Requiem marked the mezzo's debut at Carnegie Hall, where she has also since appeared in Handel's Messiah, which she has sung with the Colorado and Houston Symphonies. 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: