Soprano Sally Dibblee returns to Pacific Opera Victoria in February 2013 as Lady Billows in Britten's Albert Herring. Her previous appearances with POV include role debuts as Elisabetta in Donizetti's Maria Stuarda (2012); Cio-Cio-San in Madama Butterfly (2007); Violetta in La traviata (2001); and Yram in the world premiere of Erewhon (2000).
Upcoming highlights include her debut in the title role of Lehár's The Merry Widow with the Newfoundland Symphony and the soprano soloist in the Fauré Requiem with Symphony New Brunswick.
Sally Dibblee continues to enjoy success on stages and concert halls throughout North America. Her 2011/12 season included Nedda in Pagliacci and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi with Calgary Opera, where she also performed the title role in Lucia di Lammermoor in November 2010.
In 2009/10 she was heard as Pat Nixon in the Canadian premiere of John Adams' opera Nixon in China for Vancouver Opera and as Desdemona in Otello for Edmonton Opera. She joined the Richard Eaton Singers for Verdi's Messa da requiem, and the Mineria Orchestra in Mexico City for Mendelssohn's Elijah.
In the past decade, Miss Dibblee has been heard as Violetta in La traviata with Pacific Opera Victoria and in New Brunswick and Calgary, ; Nedda in Pagliacci for Vancouver Opera; Mimi in La bohème with the Toronto Symphony, Atlanta, Hamilton, and Arizona Operas, as well as Musetta in Toronto, Vancouver, and with Opera Ontario; Liu in Turandot in New Orleans, Louisville, Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton; Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni for Opera Ontario; Desdemona in Verdi's Otello in Ottawa and Manitoba; Micaëla in Carmen in New Orleans; Blanche in The Dialogues of the Carmelites in Calgary, the title role of The Ballad of Baby Doe for Utah Opera; Marguerite in Faust in Utah and Winnipeg, among many others. Acclaimed by Vancouver critics for her “floating high pianissimos” and “tender, rapturous, and pure” singing in the title role of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah, Miss Dibblee reprised this role for Opera Ontario and Opera in Concert. In the summer of 2000 Miss Dibblee created the role of Blossom in Game Misconduct, a new opera by composer Leslie Uyeda for Festival Vancouver.
Miss Dibblee's Canadian career has included Susanna in Edmonton's production of Le nozze di Figaro, Marguerite in Faust with Winnipeg Opera and Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus for Calgary Opera. She also starred in a series of gala concerts for the Canadian Opera Company and repeated her celebrated Carmina Burana in Halifax.
Earlier in the Canadian soprano's career she was the Governess in The Turn of the Screw with Manitoba Opera, Zerlina in Don Giovanni and Despina in Così fan tutte for Opera Ontario in Kitchener and Hamilton. A former member of the Canadian Opera Company Ensemble Studio, Miss Dibblee made her COC main stage debut as Frasquita in Carmen, followed by the leading role of Camilla in the world premiere of Randolph Peters' Nosferatu, and Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi. She triumphed at short notice as Pamina in Calgary Opera's Die Zauberflöte and has been a guest artist at the Banff Centre for the Performing Arts.
On the concert stage, she has performed Mahler's Second Symphony with the Utah Symphony, Verdi's Messa da Requeim at the Elora Festival in Toronto, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber's Requiem with the Calgary Philharmonic, Handel's Messiah for the Winnipeg Symphony, the Elora Festival Singers, and the Bach-Elgar Choir of Hamilton. Carmina Burana has been her starring vehicle with the Edmonton Symphony, Kingston Symphony, Bach-Elgar Choir, Halifax Symphony, Opera Pacific in California, and the Elmer Iseler Singers of Toronto. Audiences for the Huronia and North York symphonies have enjoyed Miss Dibblee in programs devoted to the music of Barber and Puccini, and she appeared as soloist in Mozart's Requiem for Chorus Niagara in St. Catherine's, Ontario. An avid recitalist, Miss Dibblee appears often with The Aldeburgh Connection in Toronto, on the CBC, and at the Elora Festival. She has given recitals at the Indian River Festival, the Waterloo Entertainment Centre, and in Edmonton, Calgary and Fredricton. Le Souvenir: Canadian Songs for Parlour and Stage, a recording of Canadian Heritage Songs, is available on the CBC Centredisc label.
As a teacher, she has given master classes at many Canadian universities and is a frequent adjudicator in Provincial Music Festivals. in fall 2012 Ms Dibblee was a visiting Professor of Music at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.
Sally Dibblee has the looks and the stage presence to come across as an utterly believable Elizabeth I, and the dramatic skill to enter fully into that character's inner turmoil. She also has voice and technique to burn, and her frequent volleys of bravura were carried off with as much virtuosity and power as clarity and security; this is a singing actress likely to be recognized before long as a world-class star performer.
Bernard Jacobson, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Maria Stuarda (2012)
Sally Dibblee, … boasting a commanding stage presence, brings palpable authority to the role of Elisabetta. When giving vent to the queen's jealousy, rage and scorn, she is like a force of nature, though she is equally convincing when conveying Elisabetta's private anguish and doubts.
Times Colonist, review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Maria Stuarda (2012)
Sally Dibblee, singing her first Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly), was a tour-de-force of vocal control and expressive flexibility. She missed neither musical note nor demure, Japanese shuffle-step in the role's huge expressive stretch from naive, 15-year-old geisha to adoring mother and grief-stricken, abandoned wife.
Opera Canada review of Pacific Opera Victoria's Madama Butterfly (2008)
Dibblee displayed the beauty of tone and spot-on tuning that are essential to success in this high-flying role. The mad scene, one that taxes any soprano to the max, was a show-stopper, the climax of the opera in vocal and dramatic terms. This was an impressive debut in a career-defining role.
Calgary Herald, review of Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor