American mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee has proven herself to be an artist of remarkable range and versitility 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 schedule, having taken her to several companies both in the U.S. and abroad and marked her debut at New York City Opera as Carmen in 1997 - the same year in which NYCO audiences heard her as Isabella in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri. She joined the Metropolitan Opera roster the following season, and in the fall of 1999 she again enjoyed great critical acclaim for her reprise of Carmen at
NYCO. Ms. Bybee's interpretations of Rossini characters have garnered widespread recognition and praise. In addition to her appearances as Isabella in L'Italiana in Algeri at NYCO, she has sung the role in Cologne, Dublin, and at the Festival International de Santander. Last season she made her Frankfurt Opera debut in concert performances of Tancredi. She sang the role of Falliero in the American premiere of Bianca e Falliero in Miami, and enjoyed great success as Farnace in Mozart's Mitridate, Re di Ponto at the Wexford Festival and in Queen Elizabeth Hall in London.
Highlights of recent seasons include performances as the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with Dayton Opera, Dinah in Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti at the Cabrillo Music Festival, Opera Company of North Carolina, and Tulsa Opera, Ramiro in La Finta Giardiniera with Opera North in England, Maddalena in Rigoletto in New Orleans, Tina in The Aspern Papers with Minnesota Opera, Baba the Turk in The Rake's Progress with Opera Festival of New Jersey and in concert in Toronto, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Meg Page in Falstaff in Miami, Dalila in Samson et Dalila in Indianapolis, and Preziosilla in La Forza del Destino in Montpellier, France.
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.
The Verdi Requiem marked the mezzo's debut in Carnegie Hall. She appeared again in Carnegie Hall in Handel's Messiah, which she also sang with the Colorado and Houston Symphonies and has performed with the New York Festival of Song. She sang Bernstein's Songfest to open the 1996-97 season at the 92nd St. Y in New York, and again in 1998 with Seiji Ozawa at the Tanglewood Festival.
Ms. Bybee made her debut with Seattle Opera singing the role of Princess Maria in Prokofiev's War and Peace, directed by Francesca Zambello which was also released on Sony video.
Ms. Bybee made her Cincinatti Opera Debut as Genevieve in Pelleas et Melisande this past summer. She will return to Seattle in the 2000-01 season to appear as Dame Quickly in Falstaff the First Norn in Gotterdammerung, a production in which she will share the stage with her husband, bass-baritone Greer Grimsley, and then to Montreal to debut there in the title role of Britten's The Rape of Lucretia.