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University | 21
In her third year Dibblee and two friends borrowed a
parent's car and drove to Connecticut, got on the
train, and went to New York City. It was there that she
saw her first opera.
"It was really eye opening and introduced us to some-
thing we'd never seen. The best way to experience an
opera is to see one, not just listen to it on a recording."
Dibblee recently finished the hardest part she has ever
performed at the Calgary Opera, in the title role of
Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor. She says each role she
takes on means something different to her and they all
have special aspects about them.
"It is really gratifying knowing that I have accom-
plished something so difficult. The technical challenges
and the beauty of the music in Lucia di Lammermoor
make it one of my favourites."
Her performances have taken her all over North
America -- to operas in California, Arizona, Kentucky,
Utah, and all the major cities in Canada. She can spend
up to five months of the year on the road -- five to six
weeks at each opera. She says the hardest part is being
away from her husband and two children.
"Even though it has been difficult at times, I've been
able to make my living doing what I am trained to do
and what I love to do. I'm grateful to be able to show
my kids that you can do something you love."
Dibblee says the most rewarding part of her career is
the feedback she receives from the audience. A woman
once told her following a performance that this was the
first time in months she had been able to forget her
problems and worries.
"Sometimes a life in the arts makes you wonder -- with
everything that is going on around you -- if it is all
worth it. An experience like that makes it very clear that
we all need experiences of art and culture in our life."
Dibblee in her debut role as Cio-Cio San in the Opera
Pacific Victoria production of Madama Butterfly.
I've been able to
make my living
doing what I am
trained to do and
what I love to do