Patricia Risley


Opera News hails Patricia Risley for “her voice…luscious and agile, her characterization both boisterous and tender” as well as her beautiful “singing with ease and certainty.”  Frequently sought after on national and international stages, Patricia Risley’s 2010-11 season includes her debut with New York City Opera as Dinah in Bernstein’s A Quiet Place. She also creates the role of Evvy Powers in Machover’s Death and the Powers at Oper de Monte Carlo and returns to Florentine Opera for Dido in Dido and Aeneas, Santa Fe Opera for Margret in Wozzeck, and Palm Beach Opera for Dorabella in Così fan tutte.  She also sings the Stewardess in Dove’s Flight with Austin Lyric Opera and returns to the Metropolitan Opera roster for La traviata.  Last season, she returned to the Metropolitan Opera to reprise Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi and for its production of Il barbiere di Siviglia, sang her first performances of Sharon Falconer in Aldrige’s Elmer Gantry with Florentine Opera (to be released on the Naxos label), and returned to Arizona Opera for Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia.

Ms. Risley is a frequent guest at the Metropolitan Opera where she made her debut as Tebaldo in Don Carlo and has returned for Tisbe in La cenerentola,Ciesca in Gianni Schicchi, and Mercedes in Carmen. Additionally, she enjoys a strong relationship with the Lyric Opera of Chicago as a former member of the company’s prestigious Ryan Opera Center (formerly Lyric Opera Center for American Artists) and has since performed thirteen roles with the company, including Siebel in Faust, Stephano in Roméo et Juliette, Meg Page inFalstaff, Jordan Baker in The Great Gatsby, Diana in the world premiere of Bolcom’s A Wedding, and Moglie in the American premiere of Berio’s Un re in ascolto.

The winner of a 2001 Aria Award was recently heard as Sesto in Giulio Cesareand Stéphano in Roméo et Juliette with Houston Grand Opera, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro at the Ravinia Festival Palm Beach Opera, and with the Israeli Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta, Rosina in Il barbiere di Sivigliaand further performances of Sesto in Giulio Cesare at the Opera Colorado, Angelina in La cenerentola and Komponist in Ariadne auf Naxos with Utah Opera, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro and Musetta in La bohème with Arizona Opera, and the title role in Carmen with Palm Beach Opera. Other engagements in America include Octavian in Der Rosenkavalier for Opera Pacific, Siebel in Faust with Opera Company of Philadelphia, Donna Elvira inDon Giovanni with Minnesota Opera, Meg Page in Falstaff with the Minneapolis Orchestra, Flowermaiden in Parsifal with Los Angeles Opera, Diana in La Calisto, and the title role in Cesti’s Orontea with Music of the Baroque in Chicago, and Hänsel in Hänsel und Gretel with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.  She also sang Kara Söndstrom in the world premiere of Pasatieri’s Frau Margo with Fort Worth Opera in the company’s inaugural festival season, performances of which were subsequently released on Albany Records.

Her German debut took place at the Staatsoper unter den Linden as Cherubino in a new production of Le nozze di Figaro, performances of which were released as DVD on the Arthaus label.  She returned to the company for Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni and Ernsto in Haydn’s Il mondo della luna, which she also sang at the Innsbruck Festival.  Elsewhere in Europe, she sang DorabellaCosì fan tutte and Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at the Teatro Real, La Musica/La Speranza in Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Meg Page in Falstaff at the Bayerische Staatsoper, and Anna in Die Sieben Todsünden at the Teatro Maggio Musicale.

A frequent guest at the world’s most noted opera festivals around the world, Ms. Risley has joined Santa Fe Opera previously as the demanding role of Miranda in Ades’ The Tempest, Dorabella in Così fan tutte, and Varvara inKátya Kabanová.  With both the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. and Lincoln Center Festival, she sang the roles of the Cat and Cuckoo in Respighi’s La bella dormente nel bosco.  She appeared as Estella in Argento’s Miss Havisham’s Fire with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis as well as Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, and Farnace in Mitridate with Wolf Trap Opera.

Noted for her performances on the concert stage, she has sung further performances of Miranda in Ades’ The Tempest with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.  She has joined the New York Philharmonic for Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and has also sung Mozart’s C Minor Mass with Boston Baroque, Israel Philharmonic, and Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival and Berio’s Folk Songs and De Falla’sThree-Cornered Hat with the Oregon Symphony.  Additionally, she has presented a recital under the auspices of the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.

Ms. Risley’s performance in Dido & Aeneas is sponsored by the Marie Z. Uihlein Artist Fund: Read more.