Patricia Racette has been heralded a preeminent singing actress of our time. She has built and sustained an evolving career in the most acclaimed opera houses and concert stages of the world for over thirty years and continues to not only sustain her passion for this art form but also expand it to broader arenas as both stage director and master teacher.
An internationally recognized artist herself, Racette has sung leading roles at the major houses of the world, including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Paris Opera, Teatro Liceu, Teatro Real, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Ravinia Festival, Houston Grand Opera, Dallas Opera, and San Diego Opera. She established herself as a great interpreter of Janáček and Puccini, gaining particular acclaim for her portrayals of not only the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Jenufa, Kátya Kabanová, and all three lead soprano roles in Il Trittico but also continues to make her mark in repertory expansion to include triumphant portrayals of Strauss’s Salome, Minnie in La Fancuilla del West, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Elle in La Voix Humaine, and Kostelnicka in Jenufa. Racette has also made her mark on The Met: Live in HD series as both leading lady in Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Pagliacci, and Peter Grimes as well as appearing as a favorite host for multiple other productions and outreach programs.
In championing new works, she has created roles in a number of world premieres: three works of Tobias Picker (title role of Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera, Roberta Alden in An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, and her groundbreaking performance as Emmeline at the Santa Fe Opera (broadcast on PBS and repeated live at New York City Opera); Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at The Santa Fe Opera, and Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at the Houston Grand Opera.
The 2019-20 season included Patricia's role debut as Sister Helen Préjean in Dead Man Walking for Lyric Opera of Chicago; a house debut with Opera Monte Carlo for the Teatro Real co-production of Street Scene as well as a command performance of her cabaret show, Diva on Detour; a new production of La Voix Humaine for The Dallas Opera in which she both sang and directed. She fully embraced her new appointment as Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program for Opera Theatre of St. Louis and also directed a new production of Floyd's Susannah. In the summer, she returned to Ravinia for a production of Bernstein's White House Cantata. Her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, will be offered for both San Francisco Conservatory and the New England Conservatory. In November, Patricia will be honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to mark the 25th Anniversary of her debut with the company.
Highlights from Racette's 2018-19 season included a new production entitled Ne Quittez Pas (a reimagined version of Poulenc's La Voix Humaine) with Opera Company of Philadelphia's celebrated festival, a return to Barcelona’s Teatro Liceu as the title role in Kátya Kabanová, a repeat residency at San Francisco Conservatory for her Integrative Artistry master teacher seminar, her highly-anticipated role debut as Kostelnicka in Jenufa for The Santa Fe Opera, and a return to the Ravinia Festival as Dinah in Trouble in Tahiti alongside Paolo Szot with Marin Alsop conducting.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University, received training in the Merola and Adler programs at San Francisco Opera, and most recently received an honorary doctorate from San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 2017. Among her prestigious recognitions are an Opera News Award, the Richard Tucker Award, and the Marian Anderson Award. Racette also received a Grammy Award in 2017 for Best Opera Recording for her performance as Marie Antoinette in the Los Angeles Opera’s production of John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles.