Patricia Racette

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“In her role and house debut, Patricia Racette stood out from a strong cast. Her experience both in Puccini and in American contemporary opera makes her an ideal choice for the poignant role of Anna Maurrant. A superb actress, she wore with touching naturalism the tragic veil that clouds the character from the first bars. There is something warmly sympathetic in her timbre, beautiful and polished in the centre, although the sound tends to open in the passagio. She was truly moving in the long and inspired "Somehow I Never Could Believe”, a perfect example of how Weill combines Puccinian modulation and instrumentation with the conversational phrasing that was to define American operas in the 20th century.”

Fernando Remiro, Bachtrack, 16 febbraio 2018

 “Sicuramente da segnalare una Patricia Racette incisiva e drammatica nel ruolo di Anna Maurrant “

Fabio Zannoni, Il Giornale della Musica, 19 febbraio 2018


“Soprano Patricia Racette gave a thrilling portrayal of Princess Salome, embracing in her own way the most outrageous aspects of the role, and was supported by a strong cast… Racette created a brilliantly textured picture of Salome, both privileged by rank and oppressed by the world she lives in. Her curiosity with Jochanaan grows by steps to fascination and obsession. …The soprano sang with ample power, and would no doubt have been able to ride over a louder orchestra. She encompassed the part’s wide range, including the demanding lowest register, and also had the nuance to vocally color insinuation, charm and ecstasy.”
-Mark Kanny, Trib Live

“…she has the vocal stamina to get through sounding as fresh at the end as in her first lines, clear German diction, and the physical prowess to create an illusion of youth and give an unembarrassed flash of nudity at the end of her dance. The dance itself was a disappointing segment, weakly choreographed by Attack Theatre’s Michele de la Reza, but in every other way Ms. Racette proved herself one of today’s major protagonists of this challenging and arduous role.”
-Robert Croan, Post-Gazette


Now it’s on to Patricia Racette for her fresh take on Minnie, tender and multidimensional, soft of heart and secure of voice. Although Racette’s still growing into the role, her top notes soar with warmth and luminosity, and as a consummate actress, she’ll have you forgetting you’re in an opera house.”
-John Stege, The Santa Fe Reporter

“The piece was strongly cast. Patricia Racette, a part-time Santa Fe resident, took on the role of Minnie for the first time in her career and did it proud. Her clear, robust soprano embraced the part’s vocal demands with security. …Time and again her little soliloquies drew viewers into the realm of her deeply personal hopes and dreams, building up a well-rounded, credible characterization.”
-James M. Keller, The Santa Fe New Mexican


“Patricia Racette, oltre a realizzare la performance, anche fisicamente impegnativa, di eseguire «Tabarro» e «Suor Angelica» di fila, senza intervallo, canta benissimo e interpreta ancora meglio. Idem Roberto Frontali, Michele meno cupo e Schicchi meno compiaciuto dell’ordinario: bravissimi tutti e due. A dare la misura della qualità raggiunta del teatro, l’ottimo livello dei comprimari, con una memorabile Violeta Urmana, Zia Principessa come gelida businesswoman in pelliccia e occhiali scuri. Una grandissima serata d’opera.”
-Alberto Mattioli, LA STAMPA, 19 aprile 2016

“[…] anche Patricia Racette si cala nel personaggio perfettamente, col corpo e con la voce”
-Mauro Mariani, Il Giornale della Musica



A superb performance from Patricia Racette in the title role, conveying a fatal mixture of sexual frustration, self-delusion and psychopathic ruthlessness.
-Richard Morrison, The Times

“Patricia Racette is sensational as Katerina, the morally challenged wife who makes Lizzie Borden seem like Heidi. Tcherniakov paints her as a sociopath who withdraws whenever possible into a nest of self-absorption (expressed in physical terms by a carpet-lined box where she lets her emotional hair down), but the great American soprano contributes a three-dimensional humanity all her own. Indeed, all the singers do an excellent job of rising above the production; she, though, is a star.
Racettes interpretational subtlety is as dazzling as her rock-solid vocal command. She dominates the unravelling tale, honours to the hilt the titles ironic sobriquet and invests her big, chromatic soliloquy with an overwhelming sense of thwarted languor. We are never allowed to forget that Katerina is victim first, multiple murderer second.
-Mark Valencia, What’s on Stage

“Patricia Racette charts Katerina’s transformation from bored, resentful chattel to emancipated woman with steely control, and unswerving musical authority”
-Andrew Clements, The Guardian

“Patricia Racette, singing with sometimes raw intensity, played this repressed Katerina with impressive authority, her very stillness a window on the emotions locked within.”Richard Fairman, The Financial Times
“Singing sturdily and steadily, Patricia Racette makes a touching Katerina,…“
-Rupert Christiansen,  The Telegraph 

“The character of Katerina is a complex one, and Patricia Racette makes us believe in her utterly as she veers between the desperation of being downtrodden in a loveless marriage to the triumph of controlling her own destiny back to the twin despairs of imprisonment and sexual betrayal, making Katerina’s extreme actions seem inevitable to us in the audience... Racette, Daszak, Hayward and Peter Hoare (as Katerina’s husband Zinovy) all sang well, Racette outstandingly so, with attractive timbre and phrasing, a great deal of emotion injected into each line and no difficulty in being heard above the orchestra.”
-David Karlin, Bachtrackg

“Patricia Racette incarnates Tcherniakov’s conception of Lady Macbeth admirably. She’s less the sassy, man-eating anti-heroine of tradition than a long-suffering victim of male abuse whose slow-burning revenge brings her not release but the torments of guilt. Racette’s measured voicing and acting of the role explores the character’s interior feelings rather than her brazen façade.
-Barry Millington, The Evening Standard

“The character of Katerina is a complex one, and Patricia Racette makes us believe in her utterly as she veers between the desperation of being downtrodden in a loveless marriage to the triumph of controlling her own destiny back to the twin despairs of imprisonment and sexual betrayal, making Katerina’s extreme actions seem inevitable to us in the audience... Racette, Daszak, Hayward and Peter Hoare (as Katerina’s husband Zinovy) all sang well, Racette outstandingly so, with attractive timbre and phrasing, a great deal of emotion injected into each line and no difficulty in being heard above the orchestra.”
-David Karlin,



Patricia Racette in her COC debut, the cast on opening night, with one exception, is superb.
Patricia Racette delivers the most nuanced performance of Butterfly this reviewer has ever seen. 
-©Christopher Hoilehttp:  //, 2014-10-12



Consider that Racette, who marks her 25th anniversary with San Francisco Opera this season, has sung more than 30 roles with the company, including recent powerhouse performances in "Mefistofele," "Showboat" and the title roles of "Madama Butterfly" and "Dolores Claiborne." With this "Susannah" -- a new production directed by Michael Cavanagh, with superb musical direction by conductor Karen Kamensek -- Racette adds another impressive role to the list.
-Georgia Rowe,,  09-08-2014



Madama Butterfly review: Patricia Racette lifts S.F. Opera, By Joshua Kosman see at:



"Racette is a wonder. Being called “a singing actress” is usually a way around maligning the vocal performance. There is not a whisper of that about Racette: She sings fabulously and becomes the role on stage — from the simple country girl to the tragic victim to the glamorous Helen of Troy."
-San Francisco Classical Voice

"The true star of the performance, unsurprisingly, was soprano Patricia Racette, whose Margherita shifted effortlessly from girlish naivete to haunted remorse on her deathbed, with both scenes shaped by precise and pointed phrasing."
-San Francisco Chronicle



"Patricia Racette not only hit it out of the ballpark, if you will, she slammed it beyond McCovey Cove and landed it on Treasure island. Never could we have guessed she first set sight on the score late August and then worked thirteen hours a day to master the intricacies of the music. Shes on stage most of the two hour performance, singing harrowingly difficult lines, with unsteady rhythms and jarring intervals, often contradicted by the orchestra; and she was as smooth, as in control as if she was doing Butterfly… And the acting icing sits on top of the singing cake: she was a convincing maiden in and as convincing as a tired old housekeeper last night.


"War Memorial Opera House is a house of singing, and oh, what singing there is in Dolores Claiborne, composer Tobias Pickers new opera based on the bestselling Stephen King novel. In case youve had your head under a blanket, its star is soprano Patricia Racette, who stepped into the title role just over three weeks ago -- an emergency move -- and sang like a house on fire at Wednesdays opening... In record time, Racette -- who took over the role of Dolores after mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick pulled out because of health problems -- has mastered the thorny 245-page score, which frequently pushes her soprano down to sub-basement levels. No problem. Wrapped in a shapeless winter coat, she passionately claims Dolores as a working-class hero, albeit a complicated one"
-San Jose Mercury News

"The ovation Racette received after the final curtain from a large audience — including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and numerous composers, including Jake Heggie — came after her stepping into the long, difficult role weeks before the premiere when Dolora Zajick withdrew, and singing faultlessly and marvelously through the operas two-hour length. This was also the night after one of her numerous Mefistofele appearances, all in glorious, unstinting voice, with convincing stage presence, and her usual excellent diction, so important in an English-language opera.  Watching a glamorous opera star become the frumpy, downtrodden, abused, housekeeper, who tries desperately to save her daughter from incest would be noteworthy, if you had the time to observe the transformation, rather than almost instantly accept the presence of Dolores on stage, and forget about Racette ... until the final curtain"
-San Francisco Classical Voice

"Racette saved the day by stepping into this difficult part only weeks ago, following the surprise withdrawal of mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick, the intended lead. Reports from the opera house, including Racette’s own published remarks, suggest that not many changes were made to the character’s part to adapt it for a soprano. Indeed, while the music occasionally dips a bit low for her, the writing otherwise fits Racette like a glove And so does the character itself. Racette is known as much for the intensity of her dramatic involvement as for the considerable beauty of her voice, and she turns in a brilliant performance as Dolores. Whether stubbornly coping with her aged and feeble employer, Vera Donovan, finally standing up to her abusive husband, or tenderly asking after Selena’s evident misery, Racette makes the character’s strength, vulnerability, and profane anger real and believable. She sounds terrific as well, whether in a long-breathed, wistful aria remembering a happier time in her life or singing the jagged music of her rage at Joe or Vera."
-The Classical Review

"Racette sang faultlessly and marvelously through the operas two hours, even after making one of numerous appearances in “Mefistofele” the night before. In glorious voice, holding nothing back, she also impressed with convincing stage presence and her usual excellent diction. The instant transformation of a glamorous opera star into the frumpy, downtrodden and abused housekeeper, trying desperately to save her daughter from incest, is a theatrical coup."
SF Examiner

"The cast was superb. Racette, replacing the originally scheduled Dolora Zajick (who withdrew from the production in August, by mutual agreement with the company), summoned her apparently limitless vocal and dramatic resources in the title role. Looking distinctly un-glamorous in a dowdy brown coat and head scarf (costumes by James Schuette) and singing with plush, expansive tone, the soprano created a rough-hewn character of pathos, intelligence and a beleaguered nobility, one that recalled nothing so much as her brilliant Jenufa for this company in 2001"
-Opera News



Eine hochgradig musikalische, extrem intelligente Interpretation, in der die Sänger glänzen dürfen. Allen voran die Sopranistin Patricia Racette, die eine grandiose Giorgetta ("Mantel") und eine überragende Schwester Angelica gibt. Wenn Racette singt und spielt, hält man unwillkürlich den Atem an.

A highly musical, extremely intelligent interpretation shines through in the singers. Especially the soprano Patricia Racette, who is a terrific Giorgetta ("TABARRO") and a superior Sister Angelica. As Racette sings and acts, one is left breathless.
-Kurier 12.10.12

Das wird von der in Europa nur selten zu erlebenden, in Amerika längst als Sopransuperstar gehandelten Patricia Racette mit totalem stimmlichem wie darstellerischem Einsatz beglaubigt. Sich an die Schuhe des toten Kindes als einzige Erinnerung klammernd, steht sie schwitzend zwischen der Schwüle der Hafenkisten, drückt sich später an die Wand der nun offenen, klinisch weißen Zelle, die mit Marienbildern bedeckt ist.


Puccinis extreme Gefühlsmanipulation mittels Musik und Michielettos genau geführte Personenregie samt der sich entäußernden, aber immer sängerisch souveränen Racette erreichen hier ihren Höhepunkt.


In Europe we rarely experience the total vocalism and acting like that of the certified superstar Patricia Racette. …Puccinis extreme manipulation of feelings with his music and Micheletto’s precisely directed characters sometimes lose the director himself, but the ever- vocally sovereign Racette helps us reach our climax/high point [of the evening].
-Die Welt 12.10.12


Die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Marie-Nicole Lemieux als Zia Principessa und der abermals überragenden Patricia Racette als Angelica wird zum Höhepunkt des Abends.


The argument between Marie-Nicole Lemieux as Zia Principessa and the outstanding Patricia Racette as Angelica becomes the highlight of the evening.
-Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 12.10.12


Begeistert feierte das Publikum alle unde besonders die Saenger…Patricia Racette die Liebe suchende Frau Micheles unde eine sich opfernde Angelica mit strahlendem Sopran;

All was enthusiastically celebrated by the public, especially the singers…Patricia Racette the love-seeking wife of Michele and radiant soprano of the self-sacrificing Angelica.
-Kronen Zeitung Gesamt 12.10.12


Roberto Frontali und die tolle Patricia Racette schaffen das fabelhaft.


Robert Frontali (Michele/Schicchi) and the great Patricia Racette (Giorgetta/Angelica) create [their roles] fabulously.
-Salzburger Nachrichten 12.10.12


…überzeugte im komplexen Spiel die US Sopranisten Racette mit schauspielerischer Sensibilität für ihre beiden nicht einfachen Figuren.


…in the complex game the U.S. soprano Racette impressed with [the] histrionic sensibility of an actress for the two characters, [which] is not easy.
-APA-Basisdienst 11.10.12


Michieletto setz ganz auf Realismus,…Zum Erfolg trägt besonders Patricia Racette bei, die mit warm und apart timbriertem, nur manchmal in der Höhe etwas hartem Sopran diese Angelica ungemein intensiv gibt, umgeben von einem ausgezeichneten Ensemble.

Michieletto relies heavily on realism.. Patricia Racette particularly contributes to this success, with warm and distinctive colors, only sometimes in the highest realms does she have hardness of tone in this incredibly intense Angelica, surrounded by an excellent ensemble.

Auf der Bühne dominieren Roberto Frontali mit ungemeiner Präsenz und Stimmkraft (Michele/Gianni Schicchi) und Patricia Racette mit ausdrucksstarker Intensität (Giorgetta/Angelica). 

On the stage, Roberto Frontali and Patricia Racette dominate; he with incredible presence and vocal strength, and (she) with expressive intensity.
-Kleine Zeitung 11.10.12


Madama Butterfly, OPERA AUSTRALIA

“If one really believed Cio-Cio-San was a child one couldnt watch her exploitation with a quiet conscience, but Puccini gave the part extreme vocal demands in stamina and range that require mature vocal mastery. Those demands were as nothing to soprano Patricia Racette, who sustained Act II with a gloriously communicative, clear, open sound, beautiful precision and ample reserves of power with never a hint of strain. Her quality as a singer was obvious from Butterflys inflated entrance in Act I, where she soared above the chorus. Dramatically, it took a while to adapt her view of the role to the quietly mythical spirituality of Moffatt Oxenboulds now-classic 1997 production with beautifully reserved design and lighting by Russell Cohen, Peter England and Robert Bryan. Action takes place on an island, reached by bridges over water that is only breached by the silent attendants who watch mute, mouths bound, like observers from another world. Despite her impressive singing, there was a lack of chemistry between Racette and Rosario La Spina as Pinkerton in the climactic duet of Act I. La Spinas singing showed growth in concentration and focus and the pitch was good, particularly in full-voiced moments. But Act II was not sustained as well, though it would be surprising if the curtain-call boos mixed with cheers were more than the pantomime greeting reserved for villains. The scenes in Act II between Racette and Barry Ryan, as the honourable consul, Sharpless, worked better in terms of interaction and Ryan himself brings an energised voice and dignified humanity to the part. Racettes scenes with Jacqueline Dark as the maid Suzuki were also persuasive, with Dark drawing out rich expressive moments.”
-Peter McCallum Opera House January 2011



Many singers have classically beautiful voices that appeal to almost everyone. There are also excellent singers whose voices may not be generically beautiful but whose vocal artistry is exceptional. Two such — the soprano Patricia Racette and the baritone Zeljko Lucic — were in the cast on Tuesday night when the director David McVicar’s production of Verdi’s “Trovatore,” introduced in the 2008-9 season, returned to the repertory at the Metropolitan Opera. It’s a starkly effective, boldly updated staging, with images inspired by Goya sketches of civil war. This was Ms. Racette’s first Leonora. Though the character, a lady-in-waiting to the queen, is being pursued by the powerful Count di Luna, she has been entranced by a mysterious troubadour, Manrico. Leonora is the consummate Verdi spinto soprano role, requiring both lyrical grace and unforced dramatic richness. Ms. Racette is not a classic spinto. Her sound, though pulsing with expressivity, has a slightly rough-hewn quality. And on this night she sang despite being troubled by a cold. (An announcement was made from the stage.) In the opening phrases of Leonora’s first aria, the alluring “Tacea la notte placida,” in which she tells her confidante Inez (visiting her, Ms. Racette was clearly coping with congestion in her throat. Yet Ms. Racette, always a compellingly natural actress, is an honest, intelligent and expressive singer, and those qualities came through. She brought suppleness to Verdi’s long-lined phrases, executed every trill and turn cleanly, sang pianissimo high notes sensitively and summoned earthy power in moments of torment. Ms. Racette is probably better suited to roles in which there is less expectation for lustrous vocal beauty, roles like her impassioned Tosca last spring at the Met. But I was touched by her honorable LeonoraRenée Tatum, a promising mezzo-soprano in her Met debut) about the young man who has secretly been. “
-A. Tommasini The New York Times October 2010


Tosca, METROPOLITAN OPERA, Settembre 2010

“Patricia Racette, an inexplicably underrated soprano, brought a richly expressive voice and raw emotion to her wrenching portrayal of Tosca.”

“This role suits her beautifully. She sang with uncommon richness, expressivity and honesty. In the soaring phrases of “Vissi d’arte” she captured both the dignity and despair of the character: a great diva, yet a devout woman and fiercely jealous lover.”

“There are still no candles and crucifix. But Ms. Racette was better than Ms. Mattila at executing Mr. Bondy’s idea that for a few minutes Tosca, with Scarpia’s body nearby, is too stunned to do anything other than ponder her choices. “
-A. Tommasini The New York Times, april 2010



Raffaella Coletti