Patricia Racette

Patricia Racette

Patricia Lynn Racette is an internationally-known operatic soprano from the United States.

Patricia was born in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1965, and grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire from the age of seven. She studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University.


Patricia was the winner of the 1994 Marian Anderson Award. The award is given to "an American singer of great promise who has already achieved some success in opera, in recital and in the orchestra/oratorio repertory." Other award recipients have been Sylvia McNair (1990), Denyce Graves (1991), and Nathan Gunn (1996). [ [ Marian Anderson Award] ]

She also won the coveted Richard Tucker award in 1998. The award is awarded annually by the Richard Tucker Music Foundation to an American-born opera singer on the threshold of a major national and international career. Some prior recipients of this award have been David Daniels (1997), Dwayne Croft (1996), Ruth Ann Swenson (1993), Deborah Voigt (1992), and Renée Fleming (1990).

Media coverage

Patricia was pictured on the cover of "Opera News" in June 2002 and December 2005. She was on the cover of the February 2006 edition of the "Lesbian News". She was also featured in the September 2002 edition of The Advocate.


Patricia grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, a suburb of Manchester. She started playing guitar at the age of 8; self-taught, she played mainly chords, so she began singing along to it, which is where her interest in singing started out.

She attended Manchester High School West (Class of 1983), where she was very active in the school music program. Under the direction of Richard Maynard, she participated in regional chorale competitive festivals. [ [ Manchester High School West website] ] Upon graduation from high school, she decided to study jazz at North Texas State University. To her dismay, she was told her voice was more amenable to the soprano range, which initially upset her. She was not at that time aware of the fame her soprano voice would bring her in opera. [ [ Gay and Lesbian Times] ]


Patricia has been known to silence critics with her pointed responses. She dislikes analysis of opera in strictly technical terms, insisting on asking "But how does it make you feel?" [ [] ]

Houses played

*Metropolitan Opera
*San Francisco Opera
*Lyric Opera of Chicago
*Houston Grand Opera
*Santa Fe Opera
*Royal Opera House
*Covent Garden
*Vienna State Opera
*Teatro alla Scala
*Teatro Comunale di Firenze
*Welsh National Opera
*Opera National de Paris (Bastille)
*Saito Kinen Festival
*Grand Théâtre de Genève
*San Diego Opera
*Vancouver Opera

Roles performed

*Violetta in "La traviata"
*Blanche de la Force in "Dialogues of the Carmelites"
*Madame Lidoine in "Dialogues of the Carmelites"
*Mimi in "La bohème"
*Musetta in "La bohème"
*Jenůfa in "Jenůfa"
*Cio Cio San in "Madama Butterfly"
*Alice Ford in "Falstaff"
*Liu in "Turandot" [ [ Opera Today AUG-2005] ]
*Desdemona in "Otello"
*Káťa Kabanová in "Káťa Kabanová"
*Marguerite in "Faust"
*Tatyana in "Eugene Onegin"
*Ellen Orford in "Peter Grimes"
*Micaela in "Carmen"
*Luisa Miller in "Luisa Miller"
*Leonora in "Il trovatore"
*Amelia in "Simon Boccanegra" [ [ El Dorado Sun, May-2004] ]
*Antonia in "Les Contes d’Hoffman"
*Elisabetta in "Don Carlo"
*Mathilde in "Guillaume Tell"
*Margherita in Boito’s "Mefistofele"
*Fosca in "Passion"
*Heliane in Korngold's "Das Wunder der Heliane"

World premiere roles

*Title role in the Santa Fe Opera’s world premiere of Tobias Picker’s "Emmeline".
*Metropolitan Opera's world premiere of "An American Tragedy", also by Picker.
*Love Simpson role in the Houston Grand Opera’s world premiere of Carlisle Floyd’s "Cold Sassy Tree", which she also performed at the San Diego Opera.


Ms. Racette has appeared with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including:
*Boston Symphony Orchestra
*Chicago Symphony Orchestra
*Minnesota Orchestra
*Houston Symphony
*San Francisco Symphony
*Cologne Philharmonic Orchestra
*London Philharmonic Orchestra


*Zemlinsky’s "Der Traumgorge" with James Conlon and the Cologne Philharmonic
* Carlisle Floyd's "Cold Sassy Tree" with Patrick Summers and the Houston Grand Opera

Personal life

Patricia is an out lesbian. She lives with her partner, fellow opera diva Beth Clayton. In June 2002, when she was featured as the cover story for the "Opera News Magazine", Patricia requested that the magazine include her public coming-out statement. She stated that her sexuality (and long-term relationship with Beth) was a very important part of who she is as an artist. [ [ Quote from publishers of Opera News Magazine: We did what we considered a very important cover story in June 2002, in which Patricia Racette, a very important soprano, publicly discussed her homosexuality for the first time. The response from our readers on that was overwhelmingly positive. The difference for us is that Miss Racette was on our cover because of her accomplishments as a singer. Her relationship with her partner was and is a very important part of who she is an artist, so with her permission and encouragement, we included a discussion of that part of her life. We did not put her on the cover of the magazine because she was a lesbian.] ] Patricia and Beth were married in the summer of 2005. [ [;jsessionid=FYgJ20FwfQRKzS1h7NQbGLRpzH1wP5pbJBfLGW9nGMHQVSnVQhd5!-2040645674!1428813345?a=o&d=5011334286] ] The subject of Patricia's homosexuality has been covered in numerous other magazine interviews and articles, since. [ [ Hillgirlz] ] [ [ The Advocate, Sept. 17, 2002] ] [ [ The Advocate, June 21, 2005] ] [ [ Gay and Lesbian Times, #851 15APR2004] ] [cite news |url= |title = The Diva Next Door: Patricia Racette is out, proud and operatic |publisher = Metro Weekly |author = Will O'Bryan |date= 26 April 2007 |accessdate = 2008-03-13 ]

Patricia has an older sister, Christine, and a younger brother, Peter, who is a big fan of blues guitarist Chris Duarte. Her father, Paul, now retired, was a union representative and distributor of Pepsi products in southern New Hampshire. Her mother, now deceased, was a part-time bank employee and homemaker.


External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ Patricia Racette interview] by Bruce Duffie

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