Best Homegrown Diva - 2010
It may be a stretch to claim this gifted soprano as wholly one of our own — she hails from New Hampshire, and was educated in Texas — but San Francisco Opera is where Patricia Racette's star truly began its rise. After her 20-plus-year career singing some of opera's biggest roles on the world's most prestigious stages, it's probably safe to say that her early training in San Francisco Opera's highly selective Merola Opera Program and then as an Adler Fellow (a residency reserved for the best of the best from Merola) has had its intended effect. Though an ardent supporter of new music, Racette has recently specialized in Puccini when in town, singing Cio-Cio San in 2008's Madama Butterfly, and — in an unusual feat — the lead soprano roles in each of the three one-acts of last fall's Il Trittico. After a busy spring performing around the U.S. and abroad, she'll be back as Marguerite in the summer production of Gounod's Faust (June 5–July 1 at War Memorial Opera House). It may be tempting to sell your soul in exchange for a voice like hers — but please, first consider how the story ends.