Obituary: Slovakian Soprano Ľubica Rybárska Dies at 65

By Francisco Salazar

Slovakian soprano Ľubica Rybárska has died at the age of 65.

Born on July 13, 1958, in Martina, she went on to study singing at the Conservatory in Žilina and at the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava. Following her studies, she began her career in 1983 when she became a member of the Slovak National Theatre Opera. Rybárska would become one of the company’s most acclaimed soloists and performed many of her signature roles.

In 1988, her career took a turn when she won the Luciano Pavarotti International Singing Competition in Philadelphia and she was subsequently invited by Pavarotti to collaborate with the Philadelphia Opera. It was there in April 1989 that they performed Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” and thereafter collaborated on several productions.

Rybárska’s international career took her to opera houses in Zurich, Paris, Madrid, Munich, Rome, and the Salzburg Festival, among others.

Among her most acclaimed roles included Santuzza in Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana,” Abigaille in Verdi’s “Nabucco,” Rusalka and the Foreign Princess in Dvořák’s “Rusalka,” Lisa in Tchaikovsky’s “The Queen of Spades,” Leonora in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore,” Elisabetta in Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” the title roles of “Tosca,” “Turandot,” and “Aida,” Amelia in “Un Ballo in Maschera,” and Lady Macbeth in Verdi’s “Macbeth.”

Here she is as Amelia and Turandot: