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Subject: Re: Patricia Racette: ON's Cover Girl / Radvanovsky in Trovatore
From: "stuart meadows (wanderer)" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:stuart meadows (wanderer)
Date:Mon, 14 Sep 2009 19:30:59 -0700

text/plain (215 lines)

How refreshing to read someone enthusing about a current singer! I was also glad to see the recent positive posts about Radvanovsky in SFO's Trovatore.
I am making a special trip to SF next week to see three operas, Racette in Trittico, also seeing Trovatore and Seraglio and look forward to it immensely!
Makes such a nice change from the ususal "So-and-so was nothing compared to Tebaldi/Callas/Corelli/Tucker/ insert name of dead/retired singer from 40 or 50 years ago" that one constantly sees on online opera forums, I find that sort of thing sooooooooooo boring and depressing.
Thanks again to you and Janos and Kirsten.

--- On Mon, 9/14/09, Padillo, G. Paul <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> From: Padillo, G. Paul <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Patricia Racette:  ON's Cover Girl for Annual Diva Issue
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Date: Monday, September 14, 2009, 4:38 PM
> I was, of course, thrilled that the
> Annual Diva Issue of Opera News (the most fun issue of the
> year, btw) featured MY favorite diva of today, Patricia
> Racette on the cover.   The issue also
> features a loving tribute to Anna Moffo by Ira Siff (with a
> slew of terrific photos); and thoughtful (if too brief)
> articles on Marquita Lister; Denise Duval; why sopranos love
> Strauss . . . and more . . . including a page and a half
> positive review on the CD release of bad boy Tommy Ades'
> opera "The Tempest" (pace, Tony!)
> There is a thoughtful, short "Farewell to a Legend" by ON
> Editor, F. Paul Driscoll, to the much beloved Hildegard
> Behrens, in which he mentions that a full obituary/tribute
> will appear in the November issue of the magazine.  I
> look forward to seeing that and hope the time it's taking
> produces a thoughtful appreciation to this most unique
> singer - one of my all time favorites.
> * * * * *
> Now to another of my favorites - my favorite today: 
> Patricia Racette.  Not for anyone would I get up at
> 5:30 on a Sunday morning to listen to the Italian "version"
> of Don Carlos ("Don Carlo," they call it)  - but
> remembering how terrific she was as Elisabetta, well, there
> was no choice but to rise 'n shine to Verdi (there are, of
> course, worse things to wake up for, or to).  And of
> course, while not of the same gloriously excessive length of
> Caballé's final note in the opera,  I don't think any
> soprano at the Met has held onto that final note at the
> Met  as gloriously as did Racette during the 96 run of
> Carlo's.  
> I fell in love with this girl that summer night back in the
> mid 90's on the telecast from Santa Fe of this young,
> unknown soprano in the title role of the world premiere
> performance of Tobias Picker's "Emmeline."  It remains
> one of my favorite performances of hers, and I KNEW right
> then and there - there's something very special about this
> gal.  
> I found it interesting that she doesn't feel slighted by
> the recording companies and has no intention of spending her
> time in a studio because she does her work "for the
> stage."   (I also love that she refers to her
> inner child as "a six year old boy," - this 'splains much!)
> And the stage is not limited to opera houses.  I was
> intrigued by the mention of Racette's participation in a
> staged reading of the new Barry Singer/Vernon Duke musical
> "Misia" based on the controversial muse/lover/friend/etc.,
> of such historical artistic firebrands as Diaghilev, Proust,
> Lautrec, Renoir and Coco Chanel, Misia Sert, with Racette
> taking on the title role, (apparently the only opera singer
> in the cast).   This, even as she prepares
> for two HUGE runs of all three of Puccini's heroines in Il
> Trittico.  It's this kind of stuff - an ambition and
> hunger to explore all manner of what's out there - that
> keeps me forever loving this girl.  
> While American sopranos "crossing over" has never been new
> - Racette is an odd one - coming originally from the world
> of jazz and popular music and then crossing over into opera
> offers a far different approach than most stars who jump
> into waters that too frequently don't sound familiar - or
> all that comfortable.   Mr. Barnes, in his
> article, states:
> "Arguably, Racette is the most convincing female opera star
> performing in the pop vernacular since Eileen
> Farrell."  
> The news of her participation in the world of popular
> musical theatre is an exciting prospect for me, though not
> necessarily a new one for this singer who received high
> marks for her successful run as Fosca in Sondheim's
> "Passion."  (Which I still vainly look for pirates
> of).  
> For years now I have stated that "no one sings in English
> like Patricia Racette" - and now she's being known for
> that.  Her timbre and attention to diction - without
> ever sounding arch or phony - reminds me, in a huge way, of
> the way Sills sang English.  (Racette's timbre also,
> often reminds me of Sills - it's that "shimmery"
> thing).  I really have enjoyed hearing this artist in a
> number of English language operas, including Jonathan Dove's
> wonderful opera film, "Man on the Moon" about astronaut Buzz
> Aldrin and his wife Joan (which still has yet to be released
> in the States but available from . . . well, y'know . . . )
> I'm thrilled to learn of Racette's future roles in Tosca,
> Manon Lescaut, Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the Makropulos Case
> and the possibility of two more new roles for her by Tobias
> Picker!  I'm always impressed considering the wide
> range of characters - and composers - she has tackled;
> Verdi, Puccini, Janacek, Zemlinsky, Britten, Dove, 
> Korngold, Picker, Sondheim, Bizet and Rossini, each uniquely
> stamped.  In yet another recent interview she mentioned
> how she would love to do more verismo . . . well, I'd love
> to hear more - lots more!  (I do find it just slightly
> oddly fascinating that several of her major successes are
> all as teenage women finding themselves "in the family way"
> (as they used to say in another generation/lifetime
> ago).  
> I am fully aware that Racette remains a somewhat
> controversial singer - one not to everyone's liking - and
> I'm okay with everyone not loving "my girl."  I have
> several (very) close friends who simply do not "get" her
> though, God bless 'em, they've tried more than once. 
> Still, there seem to be more and more of us who do "get" her
> and love the choices she makes in both selecting her roles,
> and what she does with them.  Racette remains for me
> one of the most exciting and theatrically compelling stage
> creatures in opera today, and what a treat to see her as
> this month's Cover Girl!   
> Brava, Pat!  
> p. 
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