Adjunct Professor, Voice
BA Brigham Young University
Office: DGH 436
Opera News (June 2000) noted that Ariel Bybee was "a prominent mezzo at the Metropolitan Opera for eighteen seasons." She sang over 450 performances at the Met, first earning accolades for her performance as Jenny in The Rise and Fall of Mahagonny when she replaced Teresa Stratas on very short notice. Further acclaim came from her performances as Annio in the Metropolitan's premiere of Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito, as Hansel in Hansel and Gretel, Nicklausse in Les Contes d' Hoffmann, and Suzuki in Madama Butterfly. She made her highly successful debut at the Washington, DC, Opera in a new production of Menotti's The Consul and her European opera debut as Melisande at the Sofia Music Weeks in Bulgaria. She made her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic (Lorin Maazel, conducting) in a concert performance of Elektra at Carnegie Hall.
Miss Bybee's professional talents were discovered by Maestro Maurice Abravanel of the Utah Symphony and later by Kurt Herbert Adler of the San Francisco Opera. Maestro Adler invited Miss Bybee to sing in San Francisco for several seasons, during which she appeared in many roles, including the title role in Carmen, Musetta in La Boheme and Inez in La Favorita. She first performed on the East Coast when she sang the title role of Monteverdi's Coronation of Poppea at the Tanglewood Music Theater. In the spring of 1985, Ariel Bybee appeared on stage with the New York City Ballet in its production of Songs of the Auvergne, and she debuted at the Ravinia Festival in Elektra conducted by Maestro Levine. She made her debut in Kuhmo, Finland, in Pergolesi's Stabat Mater and Vivaldi's Gloria. She has recently been a featured soloist in several concerts with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Miss Bybee can be heard in Franco Zeffirelli's motion picture version of La Traviata, singing the role of Flora. As well as appearing in principal roles on numerous Live at Lincoln Center telecasts (and several videos), Miss Bybee has recorded two solo albums, entitled O Divine Redeemer and Eternal Day.
Before making her debut with the San Francisco Opera Company, Miss Bybee taught junior high school music for five years, first in Utah and then in California. Since she believes that teaching refines her own performance skills, Miss Bybee has continued to give master classes and voice lessons and universities and professional schools, including the Lee Strasberg Institute and the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA).
"Hats off, gentleman, a Carmen! - Her name is Ariel Bybee...." Martin Bernheimer, Los Angeles Times review of Carmen, San Francisco Opera, 1973.
"The stars for the concert of international reputation were Berverly Hoch and Ariel Bybee. The soloists conquered by clear, clean, pensive presentations." Newspaper review of Stabat Mater at the Kuhmo Festival, Helsinki, Finland, 1992.
"Ariel Bybee sang Dorabella with opulence and flexibility, projecting a feminine, fun-loving, sometimes airheaded character." Opera News review of Cosi Fan Tutte, Utah Opera, 1991.
"The fresh, centered voices of Dawn Upshaw and Ariel Bybee, in tandem with the skillful conducting of James Levine, provided most of the joy at the Metropolitan Opera Tuesday night." Tim Page, New York Times review of Carmen, 1986
"Fillin in for...Murray was Ariel Bybee in the role of Annio. She does things with roles, thinking through each action and note to arrive at moments and phrasing that are always right on the mark and which appear natural for the character. She looks and sounds awfully good this season...One of those magic moments happened during the Tito premier: the first act duet between Annio (Bybee) and Servillia (Robinson) was exquisite. You had to be there - I can't describe it adequately." WVAI-FM review of La Climenza di Tito, Metropolitan Opera, 1984.
"In her debut as Jenny in Mahagonny, Bybee was sensational, not only vocally but in her look and her grasp of the role...Her vocal command...was superb...The role of Jenny tops with a C and she handled everything with a bright, focused tone and a tight but not unpleasant vibrato that added urgency to the part...From now on, the role of Jenny will have to be judged against her definitive interpretation." Barton Wimble, New York Daily News review of The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, Metropolitan Opera, 1981.
"Ariel Bybee...was a prominent mezzo at the Metropolitan Opera for eighteen seasons...."
Opera News, June 2001.
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