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Susheel Bibbs

Female | Performers


Singer, actress, filmmaker, scholar, and author: and former faculty member of the University of California at Berkeley faculty, has toured in opera and concert presentations for over 25 years in the US, Canada, and in Europe.  Bibbs received musical training and degrees in Opera at Boston University’s School for the Arts and in Vocal Performance at The New England Conservatory of Music where she was an Opera Department instructor and a teaching fellow. She received diplomas in Lieder and Opera at the Mozarteum Summer Academy in Salzburg, Austria, and apprenticed at the Santa Fe Opera where she taught stage movement as well.

   Bibbs made her recital debut In Boston’s Jordan Hall and her operatic debut with renowned Opera Company of Boston under Sarah Caldwell, where she was on the roster of soloists for three years. Concurrently, she sang with regional companies in New England, then in opera and concert nationwide in venues such as The Santa Fe Opera, Alice Tully Hall in New York, and The LA and San Francisco Chamber Orchestras. Susheel has also starred in televised work, such as Offenbach’s Ba-ta-clan for PBS (WGB-TV), Robert Schuller’s international Hour of Power, and a Salzburg Festival’s televised program on works of Hugo Wolf.   Bibbs was a California Touring Artist for 13 years. Internationally, she toured extensively in works such as Kurt Weill’s Street Scene and Donizetti's Don Pasquale, and in her own one-woman musicals, such as those on Mary Ellen Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in California. She has also served on touring-performance rosters for Cal Humanities and the National Parks Service.

   Known for her recitals of rare musical works as well, she has presented master-classes since 2004, especially on concert spirituals and black classical song. In 2004, she was one of the first recipients of the Keeper of the Spiritual Award by Friends of Negro Spirituals, a national organization and she has been sponsored in Master classes on this topic by NANM – The National Association of Negro Musicians. Subsequently she wrote the first booklet on performing the spiritual to offer IPA notation and rules for using dialect. 

   Bibbs currently tours in musical and dramatic programs portraying the legendary Mary Ellen Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in California and in works to introduce The Hyers Sisters, 1880’s black opera divas who changed American music theater.  In media, as an Emmy winner, she has created, directed, and performed in several award-winning independent documentary films and recently released,  An Unsung Muse, Classical Song of Black Composers on DVD along with a booklet entitled The Art of the Spiritual.

An Unsung Muse: Classical Song of Black Composers DVD

Voices for Freedom: The Hyer Sisters Legacy DVD

Meet Mary Pleasant, Mother of Civil Rights in CA DVD


2017 Willis C. Patterson Research Award

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