Artist of the Week: Patricia Racette To Seduce Met Audiences in Richard Strauss’ ‘Salome’

By Francisco Salazar

This week Patricia Racette makes her anticipated Metropolitan Opera Role debut as Salome in Richard Strauss’ opera. The title role is known to be one of the most challenging roles in the soprano repertoire and it is no surprise that Racette is taking it on.

The American soprano first sang the role last season at the Pittsburgh Opera where she scored rave reviews. Critics raved about her German diction, her ample vocal power and her physical prowess creating the illusion of a young women.  

Racette is an artist who has thrilled Met audiences and audiences around the world with her intense acting and her sumptuous voice.  Ever since her Met debut in 1994 in the role of Mimi in Puccini’s “La Boheme,” Racette has showcased her impeccable technique in a wide range of repertoire that includes Elisabetta in Verdi’s “Don Carlo,” Antonia in Offenbach’s “Les Contes D’Hoffman,” Ellen Orford in Britten’s “Peter Grimes” and the title role of Puccini’s “Tosca.”

She has also headlined the premiere of Tobias Picker-Scheer’s world premiere “An American Tragedy” and headlined the new production of Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.” Racette also has the distinction of being the third soprano in Met history to sing all three roles in Puccini’s “Il Trittico,” a feat she also accomplished at the San Francisco Opera. 

But it was her Cio-Cio San that has now become one of her most iconic roles to date. Racette created one of the most unforgettable “Madama Butterfly’s” in recent history with her emotional singing and her acting. The Met even recorded one performance on the Live in HD series, which was later released by Sony Classical. She recently said goodbye to the role as she decided to retire it from her repertoire.   

Recently Racette added the role of Minnie in Puccini’s “La Fanciulla del West” and Katerina in Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsenk.” She will also add the role of Roxane in Alfano’s “Cyrano de Bergerac” at the Metropolitan Opera.  

The soprano’s unique voice has led her to crossover into cabaret and popular tunes and has recorded an album entitled “Diva on Detour.” She has also been advocate for LGBT rights as she released an “It Gets Better Video” in support of the “It Gets Better Foundation.”

With such a distinguished career, Patricia Racette’s Salome will likely impress audiences and will add to her unforgettable roles at the Met.


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