Wednesday, May 16, 2012

New Racette Cabaret CD: DIVA ON DETOUR

Patricia Racette, who sings Cio-Cio-San tonight at Seattle Opera, began her singing career in cabarets and is coming full circle with a new, soon-to-be-released CD of cabaret songs. This live recording of her intimate evening of songs by Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Edith Piaf will be a treat for all lovers of music and theater. Racette's voice and stage presence were captured in concert at the GPR Records/Sound Associate Studios, shortly before she left New York for Seattle; Opera Obsession reported from the audience at the live recording, and I had a chance to ask Racette a few questions about the new disc the other day.

How long have you been singing cabaret?
I have been singing cabaret since I was in high school. I have always had a great affinity for this music!

How is the audience for cabaret different from the opera audience?
The cabaret audience is about 3 feet away, for starters! There is an informal and casual feel to cabaret which is conducive to a wonderfully interactive experience.

Are you a big singer of lied? Do art song recitals have much in common with cabaret?
I consider my cabaret concerts MY recital outlet! I think the intimacy level of lieder recitals are parallel to the cabaret ambience.

Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San
Elise Bakketun, photo

Singing is singing...but surely there are technical differences between what you’re doing on this disc and what we hear in McCaw Hall when you are Cio-Cio-San?
My vocal technique easily accommodates both styles, but it should be said that cabaret adds a different color palette because it is amplified.

What's the playlist on your disc?
Medley of "I Got Rhythm" and "Get Happy"
“Here's That Rainy Day”
“Not a Care in the World”
"Angel Eyes"
"I'm Calm"
Three Piaf songs as a set: "Milord," "Padam," and "La vie en Rose"
"The Man that Got Away"
"To Keep My Love Alive"
“Come Rain or Come Shine”
Medley of "Where Do You Start," "You've Changed," "Guess Who I Saw Today," and "So In Love"
"Mon Dieu"
"Not a Day Goes By”

Which song is your favorite?
That's a tough varies each time I do the program, honestly. The medley is really special to me since I 'put it together,' and it has had time to sort to simmer over the past couple of years. My NEW favorites, however, may be the Piaf selections--they are SO much fun to perform.

How can Seattleites hear you singing this music live?
Clearly I need to be booked at a fun Seattle venue to do my show live! Or if anyone is in Santa Fe in August, I am doing my show at the Lensic Theater on August 9th. My first album is available for pre-order on DIVA ON DETOUR. It was recorded live in New York with a live audience in the hopes that anyone who does listen will feel as though they were 'part of the room!'

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