Mezzo-soprano Luretta Bybee was a member of New England Conservatory's voice studio faculty between 2004 and 2015. She also served for a period of time as head of the overall vocal arts program that includes opera.
A native of Midland, Texas, Bybee has sung with numerous opera companies and orchestras in the United States and abroad. She is particularly known for her Carmen, having sung the Bizet heroine with the New York City and Seattle opera companies, among numerous others, and in the world tour of Peter Brook’s La Tragédie de Carmen. Of her New York City Opera performances, Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times wrote: “Bybee brings a dusky-colored, vibrant voice to the role. This was a strongly sung and engaging portrayal.”
Other significant roles include the title roles in Rossini's L'Italiana in Algeri, Saint-Saëns's Samson et Dalila, Rossini's Bianca e Falliero, and Britten's Rape of Lucretia. She has also sung Ulrica in Verdi's Un Ballo in maschera, Dame Quickly in Verdi's Falstaff, Fricka in Wagner's Das Rheingold, Paula in Catan's Florencia en el Amazonas, and Klytemnaestra in Elektra and Herodias in Salome, both by Richard Strauss.
Bybee’s concert work has included the world premiere of the reduced orchestral version of Leonard Bernstein’s Songfest at the 92nd Street Y, which she reprised with the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra and Seiji Ozawa on the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert at Tanglewood. She has sung Verdi's Requiem and Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall and can be heard on the recording of Aaron Copland’s In the Beginning with Gloria dei Cantores.
Bybee created the role of Amanda in Daron Hagen's world premiere of Amelia at the Seattle Opera, and debuted the role of Bernadetta in John Musto's world premiere of The Inspector (aka An Inspector from Rome) at Wolf Trap Opera.
Studies at Baylor University. Voice with Carol Mayo. Former faculty of University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Aspen Music Festival.
photo from Carmen by Rozarii Lynch, courtesy Seattle Opera