“I’m a professional singer, I’m a professional singer!”
Ruby Dibble jumped up and down with her mom in their Brookside driveway when she learned she was being offered a paid chorus position for Lyric Opera’s 2017 mainstage production of Eugene Onegin. That offer was a milestone in the 12-year relationship between Lyric Opera and this highly talented 23-year-old Kansas City native. Starting as a Lyric Opera camper at age 11, this fireball, most recently seen as Berta in The Barber of Seville, has a story to make any Kansas Citian proud.
An alumna of Académie Lafayette and St. Teresa’s Academy, Ruby’s early education drew her to language and art. At 11, she began private voice lessons and performed in two children’s operas at the Lyric. After graduating from Oberlin Conservatory with her Vocal Performance degree, Ruby returned home, where she began studying with KC native Vinson Cole, Director of Lyric Opera’s Resident Artist Program.
Ruby’s exemplary work ethic paved the way for her role in Eugene Onegin. And just months later, it paid off again. The artist set to play Berta in Lyric’s 2018 The Barber of Seville suddenly withdrew. Faced with the decision of who to bring in at the last minute, Lyric decided to give Ruby her next big break: if she could learn the role in two weeks, it was hers.
Not only had Ruby not sung the role before, but it was her first principal mainstage role. To say that she made the most of it is an understatement. As Berta, the saucy maid with a cigarette dangling from her lips, she was hilarious, and had a saunter to kill. She was absolutely memorable. In fact, Infozine said, “she effortlessly sashays her way through the performance.”
You can catch Ruby serving at Aixois in Brookside when she isn’t running to and from voice lessons or in the chorus this season for Madama Butterfly, Così fan tutte, and The Pearl Fishers. Keep an eye out for her!
Lyric Opera of Kansas City is dedicated to continually investing in the next generation of opera singers. As patrons, you know that opera is an expensive art form. But you also know that opera has the power to challenge how we see the world. The power to make us feel love, laugh until it hurts, and to be amazed. Opera has the power to change us.
During this holiday season, we invite you to join the Lyric family by making a gift of any size to the Annual Fund. Your support can help us create more “I’m a professional singer!” moments, by allowing us to continually invest in more future stars.
Please make your gift by December 31, 2018.
Photo above: Ruby as The Owl in Lyric Opera’s production of Charlotte’s Web.