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Patricia Racette, Voice Master Class


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Performed from Caroline H. Hume Concert Hall
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About SFCM’s Voice Department

Find your voice—and your community. A tight-knit group, voice students work closely with all-star faculty who have performed at the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Paris Opera, Milan’s La Scala, and many others. As a student at SFCM, you'll have the opportunity to regularly attend dress rehearsals at the San Francisco Opera and take advantage of performance opportunities around the Bay Area.

Meet Patricia Racette

With a career spanning over thirty years,  Patricia Racette has been heralded a preeminent singing actress of our time. Not only has she appeared regularly in the most acclaimed opera houses and concert stages of the world, but she now sustains her passion for this art form in the broader arenas as stage director, master teacher, and artistic leader, with her most recent appointment as Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program at Opera Theatre of St. Louis. Her Integrative Artistry seminar originated at SFCM in 2017 and has since been offered annually at SFCM as well  as  for young artists at Juilliard, the Washington National Opera. In the coming season, she adds New England Conservatory to that list.

An internationally recognized artist herself, she 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, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Elle in La Voix Humaine, and Kostelnicka in Jenufa. She 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.

The 2019-20 season includes 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, and a new production of La Voix Humaine for The Dallas Opera in which she will both sing and direct. She fully embraces her new appointment as Artistic Director of the Young Artist Program for Opera Theatre of St. Louis in late April and also directs a new production of Floyd's Susannah. Later in the summer, she returns to Ravinia for a production of Bernstein's White House Cantata. In November, she will be honored by the Metropolitan Opera Guild to mark the 25th Anniversary of her debut with the company. To end the calendar year, the Harris Theater will present Ms. Racette and her collaborator, Craig Terry, in a new program entitled Piaf: No Regrets.

In championing new works, Ms. Racette has created roles in a number of world premieres—among them are three works of Tobias Picker: the 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). The 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 acclaimed 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, Ms. Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University, received training in the Merola and Adler programs at San Francisco Opera, and was awarded 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. She 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.

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