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Luretta Bybee

Mezzo-Soprano

Mezzo-Soprano Luretta Bybee is proven 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 tragédie de Carmen. Bizet’s heroine has since figured heavily in Ms. Bybee’s career success. The Seattle Times hailed: “Luretta Bybee…is a sexy, adroit Carmen whose wealth of experience shows in every phrase and gesture.”  She has performed the role for over 25 opera companies throughout the world.  A sought-after educator, clinician, and competition judge, in 2010, she took on the directorship of New England Conservatory’s Opera Studies program, in partnership with Artistic Advisor Stephen Lord. Professor Bybee also serves on the voice faculty at Loyola University’s College of Music and Fine Arts in New Orleans.

 

Jan
2015

Jan-09
to
Jan-11
La fille du régiment
La marquise de Berkenfield
Greensboro Opera
Greensboro, NC
Apr
2015

Apr-25
to
May-03
Sweeney Todd
Mrs. Lovett
Vancouver Opera
Vancouver, BC
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…played with brilliant authority…
Cendrillon - “His despotic wife Mme. De la Haltiere, was played with brilliant authority by mezzo Luretta Bybee, whose presence commanded the stage.”Nola Defender 
…acted to perfection…
 Faust “Marthe Schwerlein was sung by Luretta Bybee and acted to perfection as the seductive “older” widow bent on catching Mephistopheles as her second husband.” - Green Valley News 
…a proper fit…
 Der fliegende Holländer  “Luretta Bybee’s Mary was a proper fit.” - Charlotte Observer 
…wealth of experience shows…
 Carmen “Luretta Bybee…is a sexy, adroit Carmen whose wealth of experience shows in every phrase and gesture.” - Seattle Times 
…finely tuned and versatile vocal instrument…
Aida - “Bybee manages to convey love and jealousy with complete believability through her finely tuned and versatile vocal instrument. One feels greatly for her character despite Amneris’ flaws.”  - The Tennessean
…strong and appealing vocal range…
Samson and Dalila - “Luretta Bybee’s Dalila succeeded in projecting the earthy appeal and cold calculation that vanquish the muscelman of Israel with a strong and appealing vocal range- from soaring highs to phenomenal lows.” - Tri-State Defender
…a nice comic turn…
Falstaff - “Luretta Bybee had a nice comic turn as the indispensable Dame - Quickly.” - Seattle Times
 Un ballo in maschera - “Luretta Bybee, seen previously as Suzuki in this season’s Madame Butterfly, used her long, low vibrato to create a stunning Ulrica, the fortuneteller. Her intense, mysterious voice cast a spell on the audience.” - The Commercial Appeal (TN)
Composer Opera Role
Bernstein Candide The Old Lady
Britten Peter Grimes Mrs. Sedley
Gilbert & Sullivan The Mikado Katisha
The Pirates of Penzance Ruth
Gounod Faust Marthe
Mascagni Cavalleria rusticana Mama Lucia
Massenet Cendrillon Madame de la Haltière
Menotti The Medium Madame Flora
Musto The Inspector Sarelda
Offenbach Les contes d’Hoffmann Mother
Ponchielli La Gioconda La Cieca
Puccini Gianni Schicchi Zita
Suor Angelica Principessa
Sondheim A Little Night Music Madame Armfeldt
Sweeney Todd Mrs. Lovett
Strauss Elektra Klytaemnestra
Salome Herodias
Verdi Falstaff Dame Quickly
Un ballo in maschea Ulrika
Wagner Der fliegende Holländer Mary
Das Rheingold Fricka
Siegfried Erda
Composer Work
Beethoven Ninth Symphony
Bernstein Jeremiah Symphony
Songfest
Copland In the Beginning
Händel Messiah
Mendelssohn Elijah
Mozart Requiem
Verdi Requiem
Vivaldi Gloria
Mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee is proven 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 tragédie de Carmen. Bizet’s heroine has since figured heavily in Ms. Bybee’s career success. The Seattle Times hailed: “Luretta Bybee…is a sexy, adroit Carmen whose wealth of experience shows in every phrase and gesture.”  She has performed the role for over 25 opera companies throughout the world.

A sought-after educator, clinician, and competition judge, in 2010, she took on the directorship of New England Conservatory’s Opera Studies program, in partnership with Artistic Advisor Stephen Lord. Professor Bybee also serves on the voice faculty at Loyola University’s College of Music and Fine Arts in New Orleans.

In coming seasons, Ms. Bybee will appear as La marquise de Berkenfield in La fille du régiment at Greensboro Opera, Mrs. Lovett in Sondheim’s beloved horror story, Sweeney Todd at Vancouver Opera and make triumphant returns to Seattle Opera and Austin Lyric Opera. She will also adjudicate the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.

Ms. Bybee’s favorite recent engagements include the role of Madame de la Haltière in Cendrillon with New Orleans Opera; Mary in Opera Carolina’s production of Der fliegende Holländer; Dame Marthe in Faust with Arizona Opera; Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music with the Pine Mountain Music Festival; and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with Seattle Symphony and San Antonio Symphony.

She made her Seattle Opera début as Princess Maria in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, in a production directed by Francesca Zambello, released on video. She returned as a house favorite as Mary in Der fliegende Holländer, Paula in Daniel Catán’s Florencia en el Amazonas,Amanda in the world première of Daron Hagen’s Amelia, Klytämnestra in Elektra, Valkyrie in Die Walküre, Second Norn and Waltraute cover in Götterdämmerung, and Fricka in both Das Rheingold and Die Walküre.  She appeared in Seattle Opera’s Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2005, 2009, and 2013.

Other appearances have included Herodias in Salome at the Arizona Opera, Orlando Opera, and Cleveland Opera; Amneris in Aïda with Nashville Opera; Ulrica in Un ballo in maschera with Opera Memphis; the title role in Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia for Opéra de Montréal; 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 New York City Opera, she sang the role in Cologne, Dublin and at the Festival International de Santander. She made her Frankfurt Opera début in concert performances of Tancredi and she sang the role of Falliero in the American première of Rossini’s 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 début at Carnegie Hall, with subsequent performances for Händel’s Messiah with the Colorado and Houston Symphonies. She also appeared as the mezzo-soprano 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 première in New York. The production was directed by Francesca Zambello and recorded on Angel records.

 

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