“We’ve run out of superlatives for Patricia Racette. You’d assume by now she would have set the expectations so high that we’d be disappointed. Wrong: she blew us away with her dramatic intensity, richness of tone, and powerful projection.”
Soprano Patricia Racette has appeared in the most acclaimed opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Paris Opera, Theater an der Wien, Gran Teatro del Liceu, and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Established as a great interpreter of Janáček and Puccini, she has gained particular acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Jenufa, Kátya Kabanová, and all three lead soprano roles in Il Trittico. Her repertory now expands to include triumphant portrayals of Strauss’s Salome, Minnie in La Fancuilla del West, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Magda in Menotti’s The Consul, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Kostelnička in Jenufa, and Elle in La voix humaine. In the fall of 2019, she will add to this list Sister Helen in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking which she performs at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has been a favorite on The Met: Live in HD series as both leading lady in Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Peter Grimes as well as the celebrated host for multiple other productions.
A champion of new works, Ms. Racette has created roles in a number of world premieres, including Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at The Santa Fe Opera, Roberta Alden in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at the Santa Fe Opera (broadcast on PBS/Albany Records audio), Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at the Houston Grand Opera, and most recently, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera.
Ms. Racette made her directorial debut with a new production of La Traviata at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the summer of 2018 and returned in the summer of 2021 to direct herself in a production of Poulenc’s La Voix Humaine. Planned productions of La Voix Humaine at the Dallas Opera and Susannah at the Opera Theatre of Saint Louis in 2020 were unfortunately cancelled due to the pandemic.
This season, Ms. Racette makes two role debuts: Madame Croissy in Les Dialogues des Carmelites at the Houston Grand Opera and Desirée Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Arizona Opera.
Ms. Racette is currently the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of St Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist and Richard Gaddes Festival Artist programs. She also continues to be sought after for master classes and workshops to foster artistry in the next generation of classical singer. In January 2017, she presented the pilot program of her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, at the San Francisco Conservatory, and has since presented it at The Juilliard School and the Washington National Opera.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Ms. Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University. Among her recognitions are an Opera News Award, the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, and the Marian Anderson Award. She also received the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for her performance in the Los Angeles Opera’s production of The Ghosts of Versailles.