Between performances, mum's the word for Patricia Racette
A self-professed "Puccini girl," Patricia Racette is making her debut as Floria Tosca with the Houston Grand Opera, with her final performance Sunday.
The renowned soprano stars in a newly minted production created just for the HGO by John Caird.
Q: What draws you to the role in Tosca?
A: She's a very complicated person, which is always theatrically interesting, and her circumstances are also very interesting. She's a real woman — a fiery, passionate, impulsive human being. Also, I'm a Puccini girl. It's something that suits me vocally, like a proverbial glove.
Q: Do you have any pre-show rituals or ways you try to preserve your voice?
A: It depends on the role, but for this one I sleep as much as possible, as late as I possibly can and then I have a little bite to eat and some tea and go to the gym. I sort of keep to myself. I don't do a lot of talking. I'm rather conservative with my vocal and emotional energies.
Q: If you weren't an opera singer, what would your dream job be?
A: I'm not really sure. I've been so mono-minded about music form an early age — not necessarily opera, but music. When I was at the University [in North Texas] I almost envied my friends that were sort of exploring majors, because I felt so attached and driven to be in music that I didn't really take a lot of time to consider other options. There is a role I'd love to do, though. Puccini's La fanciulla del West.
Q: What is your favorite art form to take in as a spectator?
A: Legitimate theater. A play is my first choice for live entertainment. Drama, I think, over comedy.
Q: This isn't your first time in Houston. We're doing a special series this month where we ask people what their favorite thing is in or about Houston. What's yours?
A: I love singing at the Wortham; it's a fantastic acoustic, a great hall and a wonderful company. And I'm enjoying the climate. I'm not a fan of humidity and super-hotness, so I actually prefer this. But I love the restaurants — I like that Ibiza.