Patricia Racette & Beth Clayton
Soprano Patricia Racette has appeared in the most acclaimed opera houses of the world including the Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Canadian Opera Company, Royal Opera House, La Scala, Paris Opera, Theater an der Wien, Gran Teatro del Liceu, and the Bayerische Staatsoper. Established as a great interpreter of Janáček and Puccini, she has gained particular acclaim for her portrayals of the title roles of Madama Butterfly, Tosca, Jenufa, Kátya Kabanová, and all three lead soprano roles in Il Trittico. Her repertory now expands to include triumphant portrayals of Strauss’s Salome, Minnie in La Fancuilla del West, Katerina in Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, Magda in Menotti’s The Consul, Anna Maurrant in Street Scene, Kostelnička in Jenufa, and Elle in La voix humaine. In the fall of 2019, she will add to this list Sister Helen in Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking which she performs at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. She has been a favorite on The Met: Live in HD series as both leading lady in Madama Butterfly, Tosca, and Peter Grimes as well as the celebrated host for multiple other productions.
A champion of new works, Ms. Racette has created roles in a number of world premieres, including Leslie Crosbie in Paul Moravec’s The Letter at The Santa Fe Opera, Roberta Alden in Tobias Picker’s An American Tragedy at the Metropolitan Opera, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Emmeline at the Santa Fe Opera (broadcast on PBS/Albany Records audio), Love Simpson in Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree at the Houston Grand Opera, and most recently, the title role in Tobias Picker’s Dolores Claiborne at the San Francisco Opera.
Ms. Racette made her directorial debut with a new production of La Traviata at the Opera Theatre of St. Louis in the summer of 2018 and returns in the summer of 2020 to direct Susannah. She will also direct herself in a production of La voix humaine at the Dallas Opera in the spring of 2020.
Ms. Racette was recently named the Artistic Director of Opera Theatre of St Louis’ Gerdine Young Artist and Richard Gaddes Festival Artist programs. She also continues to be sought after for master classes and workshops to foster artistry in the next generation of classical singer. In January 2017, she presented the pilot program of her intensive seminar, Integrative Artistry, at the San Francisco Conservatory, and has since presented it at The Juilliard School and the Washington National Opera.
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Ms. Racette studied jazz and music education at North Texas State University. Among her recognitions are an Opera News Award, the prestigious Richard Tucker Award, and the Marian Anderson Award. She also received the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for her performance in the Los Angeles Opera’s production of The Ghosts of Versailles.
Mezzo-soprano Beth Clayton has sung upwards of fifty leading roles with opera companies both in the US and abroad. She created a number of roles in world premieres, including John Adams’s Doctor Atomic, Howard Shore’s The Fly, William Bolcom’s A Wedding, Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree, Deborah Drattell’s Lilith, and, most recently, Lembit Beecher’s I have no stories to tell you. On the concert stage, Ms. Clayton has appeared with leading orchestras ranging from the New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra to the Israel Philharmonic; this performance marks her San Francisco Symphony debut. Her discography includes a Grammy‐nominated recording of Richard Rodney Bennett’s The Mines of Sulphur with the Glimmerglass Festival and Five Songs of Bernstein with the Minnesota Orchestra. A native of Arkansas, she holds music degrees from Southern Methodist University and Manhattan School of Music, is an alumna of the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program and the Houston Opera Studio, and most recently received a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University. She combines her performance experience with the platform of mental well‐being in a private practice geared towards the specific needs of performing artists and those in the LGBTQ community and beyond.