Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Early Reviews Mixed For Patricia Racette As Nedda At MET

Tears of a Clown: Patricia Racette as Nedda with Marcelo Álvarez as Canio at the MET
Yesterday, the new David McVicar's production of Pagliacci by Leoncavallo had its opening night at the Metropolitan Opera. Critics didn't all agree on Patricia Racette's performance:

"Patricia Racette as the doomed Nedda gives one of her finest performances in recent memory, finding focus and honey in her middle range. She wholly inhabits her role, playing the wanton scamp 'Colombina' with aplomb, but earnestly yearning to be free of her life with Canio. Even in the midst of her infidelity, she commands sympathy in her duet with Lucas Meachem, who brought a warm, smooth baritone to the role of Silvio." [Source]

"But as Nedda, the luminous Patricia Racette is an optimist in spite of everything, her bright soprano spinning buoyantly in her duet with the orchestral birds in 'Stridono lassù.' Still, Ms. Racette is ready to switch into play-acting whenever she must." [Source]

"Patricia Racette delivers a fine performance as Nedda in Pagliacci, fiery in her aria 'Stridono lassu' and sultry in her love scenes with Silvio, making out on the running board of the truck." [Source]

"The soprano Patricia Racette may have a slight hard-edged quality in her full-voiced top notes these days. Still, as Canio’s wife, Nedda, who has become involved with the villager Silvio, she sang with beguiling feistiness, sizable sound and great character. She looked charming and captured the suffocating young woman’s restlessness." [Source]

"Patricia Racette as Nedda, the floozy with a heart of tarnished gold, acts, reacts, shimmies and swishes with such virtuosic glee that one wants to disregard some patchy vocalism." [Source]

"He has persuaded some of the singers to match his elegance, especially Patricia Racette, whose sultry Nedda in Pagliacci is the second-best reason to buy tickets. Equipped with a sumptuous black wig and a deluxe soprano in its prime, she toggles between heavy passion and light mockery. In the duet with her lover, Silvio, Racette’s voice rides the orchestra’s warm currents in long, legato glides, making the physical craving she inspires in men seem like an acoustical phenomenon." [Source]

"Joining them was Patricia Racette, who played Nedda like a has been hooker, and sounded like an over-the-hill soprano." [Source]

"In Pag, Patricia Racette's ever-widening vibrato (recalling late-period Maria Callas) meant that redemption for this Cav/Pag skeptic wasn't in the cards, even though David McVicar's production is perfectly respectable at worst and full of impressive, dramatically-relevant theatrical flourishes at best." [Source]


  1. "Ms. Racette was a gem. She played both sides of Nedda, the passionate woman in love and the beaten-down sexually harassed professional actress in a performance that left everything on the stage. This was an entertaining and risk-taking performance, complete with an almost unrecognizable turn in a clown suit which transformed quickly into a suggestive and glittery Colombina outfit. The bird-like upper coloratura of "Stridono lassù" was a reach for her, but the notes were present. In her more comfortable lower range, Ms. Racette gave a firm and committed performance with more than a flash of the magic that this singer has brought to the Met so many times. Her duet with the promising baritone Lucas Meachem (as Silvio, this opera's hapless equivalent to Turiddu) was full of yearning and need, supported by her dark middle register." from